ANSONIA >> Thanks to a resident’s generous donation, the Ansonia Police Department’s four-legged crime fighter, Kane, now has protective gear to keep him safe when fending off the bad guys.

Resident David Shepherd donated money that enabled the department to purchase a $2,900 bullet- and stab-proof vest for Kane, a nearly 3-year-old, jet black German shepherd that joined the force in September 2015.

Shepherd donated the money in memory of his late wife, Linda E. Shepherd, a devoted dog lover, animal advocate and generous supporter of the city’s animal shelter, who often donated food and supplies to animals in need. The vest features embroidery with Kane’s name that reads “In Loving Memory of Linda E. Shepherd.”

During a brief ceremony held Monday at the police station, Shepherd, along with his son, David Jr., and grandson Jimmy, 5, of Seymour, watched as Kane modeled his new vest. Until now, Kane didn’t have a bullet-proof vest.

K-9 Officer Paul Smith, who joined the department in 2003, said both he and his canine partner are forever grateful for Shepherd’s donation.

“It’s (the vest) a huge asset not only for Kane, but for the officers, too. ... Kane’s protected and we’re protected even more,” said Smith.

Police Chief Kevin Hale was equally thrilled with the donation.

“It’s awesome and it’s such a great cause in memory of a wonderful person,” Hale said. “We are very appreciative of this.”

Shepherd said his wife, who died in July 2014, “always had dogs,” and he knows she would be absolutely thrilled to know Ansonia’s canine cop is safe on the job.

“She would have loved this,” Shepherd said.

Smith said K9 Storm, a company based in Ontario, Canada, created the custom-made vest for Kane.

Smith said Kane, who is cross-trained in narcotics detection, search and control, hails from the Czech Republic. The duo underwent 13½ weeks of extensive training with the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association and North American Police Work Dog Association, prior to coming onto the beat in fall 2015.

Kane was purchased for $10,000 with drug and property seizure funds, which included all costs associated with training and supplies.

Kane replaced the department’s longtime K-9 Thor, a nearly 11-year-old German shepherd who honorably served on the force for almost a decade, prior to passing away in late December 2015.

Hale said police dogs are essential in assisting many police operations, including drug seizures, finding missing persons and tracking down robbery suspects. Kane has also assisted area police departments on several occasions.