The vest is embroidered with the sentiment, “In memory of K9 Diezel, Umass Amherst Police Department.”
“Vested interest has saved the taxpayers money by providing this service and equipment to our canine partners which will keep them safe,” Chief Chuck Hasty said.
Vested Interest in K9s is 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.
The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged officers.
Vested Interest has provided more than 2,800 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of more than $2.4 million.
The program is open to dogs actively employed in the United States with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age.
New graduates, as well as dogs with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement dog is $950.
Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs.
There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement dogs throughout the United States.
For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or through mail at P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.