By Kyle Davidson, CPW SE Region
Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s K9, Sci, has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
K9 Sci’s vest is sponsored by Barbara and Jeffrey Barnett of Colorado Springs, and embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of Peppy and Molly Barnett”.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charity located in East Taunton, Massachusetts, 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 four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 2,000 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 1.7 million dollars. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, Michigan.
The program is open to dogs actively employed in the US 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.
There are an estimated 30,000 law-enforcement K9s throughout the United States.
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.
To provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9, the donation is $1,050. Each vest has a value between $1,795-$2,234, a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs.
For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 508.824.6978 or visit www.vik9s.org/be-a-volunteer.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 42 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado. Find them online at cpw.state.co.us.