CONTRIBUTED BY OPD
Opelika Police Department’s K9 Bane will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s Inc. K9 Bane’s vest is sponsored by Helen Pavilonis of Durham, North Carolina, and will be embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by the Pavilonis Family.”
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 nearly 5,000 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.
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 about $1,750 to about $2,300, weighs an average of 4 to 5 pounds 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 contributions can be mailed to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, Massachusetts, 02718.