The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 2,700 protective vests in 50 states through private and corporate donations at a cost of over $2.3 million.
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 law enforcement K9 is $950.00. Each vest has an average weight of 4-5 lbs., is valued between $1,744. – $2,283., and comes with a five-year warranty. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. 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 tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mail to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.
K9 Tank was born on August 24, 2015, in Hungary. K9 Tank was later brought to the United States by Shallow Creek Kennels located in Sharpsville, PA. In January of 2017, two members of the CSPD K9 Unit flew to Pennsylvania; and after a rigorous selection process, selected K9 Tank as the next member to join the CSPD K9 Unit.
Upon K9 Tank’s arrival in Colorado Springs, CO, he was partnered with Officer Timothy Donovan, a five-year veteran of the K9 Unit and a 12-year veteran of the Colorado Springs Police Department. K9 Tank was added to the team to fill a void left by the retiring of Officer Donovan’s first partner, K9 Max. K9 Max has since been trying to enjoy retired life at home with Officer Donovan.
K9 Tank and Officer Donovan successfully completed the Colorado Springs Police Department’s 600-hour in-house K9 Academy, as well as receiving certification through the National Police Canine Association (NPCA). K9 Tank is a dual-purpose canine, meaning he is trained in all areas of patrol work to include locating and apprehending violent and dangerous felony suspects at large in the community. K9 Tank’s primary purpose is as a locating tool. K9 Tank is also a certified to detect illegal narcotics and is one of two certified non-marijuana detection canines.
Officer Donovan and the Colorado Springs Police Department K9 Unit are extremely grateful for the very generous members of our community who have made it possible to not only vest K9 Tank, but the entire unit as well. We are all also very appreciative and supportive of the mission that Vested Interest in K9s has set out to accomplish.
When asked what this means to Officer Donovan, he stated, “I am just overjoyed that this was made possible. We, as handlers, realize that these dogs have a purpose and a job to do, but we still want to give them the most protection possible so they can come home safely at night. We form a bond and an attachment with our partners and they become members of our families. We don’t want to see anything happen to them and this vest gives Tank the opportunity to come home after every shift.”