Sheriff’s office K9 receives donation of body armor
Faribault County Sheriff’s Office K9 Zeus has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vest was sponsored by an anonymous sponsor and embroidered with the sentiment “Honoring those who served and sacrificed.”
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton, Massachusetts, whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 3,000 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $5.7 million dollars.
The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950. Each vest has a value between $1,744 $2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.
K9 Zeus, and his partner, Faribault County Sheriff’s Deputy Brittney Gehrking, have been working together since Oct. 31, 2016. K9 Zeus and Deputy Gehrking are a certified narcotics detection K9 team through both the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) and Dogs for Law Enforcement (DLE). They are also certified in tracking, article searches and handler protection through DLE. Since K9 Zeus and Deputy Gehrking have been working together, they have assisted numerous agencies, including the Fairmont Police Department, the Winnebago Public Safety Department, the Blue Earth Police Department, the Wells Police Department, the Mapleton Police Department, the Minnesota State Patrol, among others. K9 Zeus and Deputy Gehrking are also available for K9 demonstrations by contacting the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office at 507-526-5148.