Trussville Police Department’s K9 Leonidas to get body armor
From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE — The Trussville Police Department’s K9 Leonidas, or “Leo” for short, will soon have a new item in his wardrobe that will represent much more than just a new fashion statement.
TPD will receive a bullet and stab protective vest for Leonidas thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., according to the department.
Leonidas’ vest is sponsored by John and Gail Zapf of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and will be embroidered with the sentiment “Protect this K9 and their partner”.
Delivery is expected within eight to 10 weeks.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, Massachusetts, 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. has provided over 2,800 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations at a cost of over $2.4 million dollars.
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 $950.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of four to five lbs.
There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.