Cass County K9 receives body armor

K9 Ryker
Cass County Sheriff’s K9 Ryker will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. Submitted Photo

WALKER — Cass County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Ryker will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a donation from nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s.

K-9 Ryker’s vest is sponsored by Mark and Joan Lee of McIntosh and will be embroidered with the sentiment “Born to Love — Trained to Serve — Loyal Always,” a news release stated. Delivery is expected in eight to 10 weeks.

Vested Interest in K9s is a charity in East Taunton, Massachusetts, with a mission 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 K-9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s has provided over 3,830 U.S. made, custom fitted, National Institute of Justice certified protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $6.9 million.

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 K-9 graduates, as well as K-9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K-9 is $960. Each vest has a value between $1,744-$2,283 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 pounds. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K-9s throughout the United States.

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