K9 Deputy Apollo gets body armor
BUFFALO — Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard recently announced the K9 team of Deputies Galbraith and Apollo will both be wearing protective body armor thanks to the donation of a vest by the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s. Apollo will be fitted for bullet and stab protective armor which will be ready for use in a few weeks.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (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 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 more than 2,900 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at the cost of over 2.5 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.
Sheriff Timothy Howard said, “Apollo is the latest work dog in our K9 Unit to receive body armor from Vested Interest in K9s, and the compassion and dedication this organization has for law enforcement K9s is tremendous. I appreciated their work and having them as partners protecting my Deputies.”
Apollo is New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services certified in narcotics detection, tracking, as well as police services and handler protection.
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 pounds. There are 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, Mass. 02718.