“We’ve hand encounters in the past where some of our canines have been the target of potential harmful assaults,” Hall said today.
To help protect Duri, who is handled by Corporal Dustin Newsome, the dog will receive a bullet and stab protective vest.
The vest comes from a donation from the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s.
(For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at its website or by mail to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718)
The vest is sponsored by Metrowest Humane Society of Ashland, Massachusetts, and will be embroidered with “Vested by volunteers at Metrowest Humane Society.”
Delivery is expected within eight to 10 weeks, Hall said in a statement.
Duri is a 2 ½ year-old German Shepherd-Belgian malinois who has been with Newsome since October. “Together they have been successful in assisting the City County Drug Task Force, the State Bureau of Investigation, and other local agencies within Halifax County,” Hall said.
Duri and Newsome received their training in tracking and narcotics from Ventosa Kennels in Scotland Neck.
“We are extremely appreciative and honored to receive this protective gear for Duri,” Sheriff Wes Tripp said in the statement. “This vest is crucial for the safety of Duri during potentially dangerous situations while on patrol. Again, we would like to thank Vested Interest in K9s for their dedicated services to law enforcement agencies throughout the country.”
Vested Interest is a charity located in East Taunton, Massachusetts, and its mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States.
Since its inception, Vested Interest has provided more than 2,400 protective vests in 50 states through private and corporate donations at a cost of more than $1.9 million.
All vests are custom made in the United States by Armor Express in Central Lake, Michigan.
The program is open to dogs actively employed in the United States with law enforcement or related agencies which 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 dog is $1,050.
Each vest has a value between $1,795 to $2,234 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4 to 5 pounds.
There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement dogs throughout the United States.