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A Montrose County Sheriff's Office K9 will be getting an awesome piece of field gear almost in time for Christmas.

The MCSO reports via Facebook K9 Jocko will soon receive a bullet and stab protective vest. This comes courtesy of a donation from the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. Delivery is expected within the next eight to ten weeks.

The vest, sponsored by Darby Kelly of "Heroes with Paws" in Parker, Colorado, will be embroidered with "This gift of protection provided by Heroes with Paws.”

Chances are you've seen these vests before. A while back we posted about another dog, K-9 Tigo, which had received a similar vest.

We are very grateful to Vested Interest in K-9s for their support of our four-legged heroes." - Undersheriff George Jackson.

My guess is you've probably heard of Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. before. Their name comes up from time to time here in Western Colorado. According to their official webpage, their mission is:

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c(3) non-profit whose mission is to provide bullet and stab-protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the country.

Looking back over the last 11 years, the organization has donated:

  • Over 4,100 K9 ballistic vests (at a value of more than $6.9 million)
  • Three Chevy Tahoe patrol vehicles custom fitted for a K9 Unit worth over $50,000 each
  • More than $67,000 in K9 medical first aid kits
  • 1,300 K9 opioid reversal NARCAN Kits
  • More than $152,000 of K9 medical insurance premiums through their Healthcare for K9 Heroes program

I don't know about you, but I find the info on this armor absolutely fascinating. Here are a few random facts regarding the body armor:

Okay, next question - What does a dog or agency need to do to qualify for a vest? According to Montrose County Sheriff's Office Facebook post, the Vested Interest in K-9's, Inc. programs is open to:

  • Dogs in the United States
  • Dogs at least 20 months of age
  • Actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agency (dogs can get employed and certified... I can't)
  • K9's with expired vests

Did you know there are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States right now? Did you know you can get on board with this with your tax-deductible contribution? Donations in any amount are accepted and appreciated. If you would like to donate enough to sponsor a vest, a single donation of $960 will do the job.

The facts of each vest include:

  • A cost of $1,744 to $2,283,
  • Weigh an average of four to five pounds
  • Comes with a five-year warranty

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts donations at www.vik9s.org.   Donations can be mailed to:

P.O. Box 9

East Taunton, MA 02718

Congratulations K9 Jocko. You and your handler, Deputy Mimi Savage, will be rolling out to the public in rare form with your new attire. Between your new vest and a handler with the name of Deputy Savage, you'll be a force to be reckoned with for sure.

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