GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (November 13, 2017)--Gloucester City Police Department K9’s Demo and Blitz will receive bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9’s Demo and Blitz’s vests are sponsored by an Anonymous Sponsor and will be embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.”. Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.
K9 Demo (left photo) has been assigned to Ptl. Blaise O’Donnell since 2016 and is a 2 ½-year-old Belgian Malinois. K9 Blitz (right photo) has been assigned to Ptl. Mike Calzonetti since 2016 and is a 2 ½-year-old German shepherd. Both teams are certified in patrol work, inclusive of building, area and article searches, criminal apprehension, tracking and handler protection. Both teams are certified in narcotics detection as well and are assigned to the Patrol Division.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA 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 2,700 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 2.3 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 $950.00. 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.