• 37°

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office K9 deputy receives body armor

Special to the Enquirer

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office K9 deputy Juko will receive a bullet- and stab-protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s Inc.

K9 deputy Juko’s vest is sponsored by Gerri Baker of Clayton, Calif., and will be embroidered with the sentiment “Born to Love – Trained to Serve – Loyal Always”. Delivery is expected within eight to 10 weeks. “We continue to ask more from our K9 units, and this added protection will help them meet the challenge,” Sheriff Ron Puckett said. Vested Interest in K9s is a 501(c)(3) charity located in East Taunton, Mass., 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 nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s has provided more than 3,800 U.S.-made, custom-fitted, NIJ-certified protective vests in 50 states through private and corporate donations at a value of $6.9 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.

An estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s serve throughout the United States.

For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s. provides information, lists events and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org. Donations can also be mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.