Burnsville K-9 officer receives protective vest

Burnsville Police Department K-9 Officer Jet will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from Vested Interest in K9s Inc., a nonprofit organization.

The vest will be embroidered with the sentiment, “In memory of K9 Rocco, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.” Delivery of the vest is expected within eight to 10 weeks.

Vested Interest in K9s Inc. is a Massachusetts-based nonprofit with a mission to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the U.S. Since its 2009 inception, the organization has provided more than 2,600 protective vests in 50 states – through private and corporate donations – at a cost of more than $2.1 million.

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 K-9 graduates, as well as K-9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K-9 is $950. Each vest has a value between $1,744 and $2,283 and a five-year warranty. The average weight is 4-5 lbs.

K-9 Jet recently finished a 12-week training course before hitting the streets with handler Officer Lauren Smith. When he is not working, Jet – who is from Slovakia – enjoys playing with his favorite toy, a Kong ball.

For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call Vested Interest in K9s Inc. at 508-824-6978 or visit www.vik9s.org.