(COLUMBIA, MO) ~ Columbia Fire Department's K9 Tony is now equipped with a bullet and stab protective vest, thanks to a generous donation from the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vest was sponsored by Don and Misty Fike of Galesburg, Illinois and bears the heartfelt message "Born to Love-Trained to Serve-Loyal Always".

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. was established in 2009 with the mission of providing protective vests and other assistance to law enforcement dogs throughout the United States. These vests are custom fitted, U.S. made, and NIJ certified, making them potentially lifesaving for the four-legged officers who wear them. Since its inception, the organization has provided over 5,379 vests to K9s in all 50 states, with a total value of $6.9 million. This has been made possible through donations from both private individuals and corporations.

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The program is open to all U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. Even K9s with expired vests are eligible to participate. With an estimated 30,000 law enforcement dogs in the country, this program plays a crucial role in protecting these hardworking animals.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions of any amount towards their cause. A single donation of $985 will sponsor one vest for a K9 officer. Each vest has a value of $1800 and weighs an average of 4 to 5 pounds. They also come with a five-year warranty for added durability.

For those interested in learning more about this organization or getting involved as a volunteer, they can call 508-824-6978 or visit their website at Donations can also be mailed to P.O Box 9 in East Taunton, MA 02718.

Thanks to the generosity of donors like Don and Misty Fike, K9 Tony and many other law enforcement dogs across the country can now perform their duties with an added layer of protection. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. continues to make a significant impact in keeping these loyal and dedicated animals safe while they serve their communities.

Filed Under: Government, City

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