Photos: Courtesy of the Cranston Police Department
City of Cranston Police Department K9s Ryken and Czar have received bullet and stab protectives vest thanks to charitable donations from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Ryken’s vest was sponsored by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of K9 Lex”. K9 Czar’s vest was sponsored by Nancy Scime of Charlestown, RI and embroidered with the sentiment “Born to Love Trained to Serve-Loyal Always”.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., established in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) charity 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. This potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K9 officers is U.S. made, custom fitted, and NIJ certified. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 5,077 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.
The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. K9s with expired vests are also eligible to participate. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.
“The Cranston Police K9 unit is very grateful that Ryken and Czar have been provided the latest and up to date safety in body armor equipment. These K9’s are thrust into critical situations to include the apprehension of non-compliant suspects, narcotics, high risk searches and other dangerous situations. We remain confident when sending these highly trained canines into these situations, that they have maximum protection,” said Colonel Michael Winquist.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, while a single donation of $985 will sponsor one vest. Each vest has a value of $1800.00, weighs an average of 4-5 lb., and comes with a five-year warranty. For more information, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts donations at www.vik9s.org, or you may mail your contribution to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.