Milford police dog gets bullet proof vest

The Milford Police Department’s K9 Mack has received a ballistic vest thanks to a nonprofit organization, Vested Interest in K9s Inc.

K9 Mack is a 2.5-year-old German Shepard handled by Officer Steve Napoletano of the Milford Police Department’s K9 Unit. The K9 team graduated from the 180th Connecticut State Police K9 Training Troop in June. K9 Mack is certified as a patrol canine in areas such as evidence recovery, tracking people of interest, building searchers and other law enforcement related functions

Mack’s vest was sponsored by an anonymous donor and embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.”

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, Mass., 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 non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially life saving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided more than 2,600 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over $2.1 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 K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050. Each vest has a value between $1,795 and $2,234 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of four to five pounds.