Bakersfield Police K9 officers get protective vests

Bakersfield Police K9 officers get protective vests

It was a good day to be a K9, or at least a considerably safer one, when the Bakersfield Police Department received thousands of dollars in donations to protect the working dogs. 

The department corps of dogs received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from the non-profit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. Here’s what each dog received and who made the donations:

K9 JAX

Bakersfield Police K9 officers get protective vests

K9 Jax is a 5 year old German Shepherd, who has been working with the Bakersfield Police Department since May 2013. He is cross-trained in explosives detection and protection work. He is currently partnered with Senior Officer Jared Ashby. Jax’s vest is sponsored by Joanne Crist of Monterey, Calif. and is embroidered with the sentiment, “Protecting those who protect us.”

K9 TRAXX

Bakersfield Police K9 officers get protective vests

K9 Traxx is a 4 1/2 year old German Shepherd, who has been working with the Bakersfield Police Department since January, 2014. He is cross-trained in narcotics detection and protection work. He is currently partnered with Senior Officer Seth Palmer. Traxx’s vest is sponsored by Rita Nugent-Clancy of McGregor, Iowa and is embroidered with the sentiment, “Thank you for your service, Be safe K9 and partner.”

K9 PHOENIX

Bakersfield Police K9 officers get protective vests

K9 Phoenix is a 5 year old Belgian Malinois, who has been working with the Bakersfield Police Department since May, 2013. She is cross-trained in explosives detection and protection work. She is currently partnered with Officer Travis McNinch. Phoenix’s vest is also sponsored by Rita Nugent-Clancy of McGregor, IA and is also embroidered with the sentiment, “Thank you for your service, Be safe K9 and partner.”

K9 RICO

Bakersfield Police K9 officers get protective vests

K9 Rico is a 7 year old German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois mix, who has been working with the Bakersfield Police Department since May, 2011. He is cross-trained in narcotics detection and protection work. He is currently partnered with Officer John Otterness. Rico’s vest is sponsored by an anonymous donor and is embroidered with the sentiment, “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.”

K9 MAVERICK

Bakersfield Police K9 officers get protective vests

K9 Maverick is a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois who has been working with the Bakersfield Police Department since August 2015. He is cross-trained in narcotics detection and protection work. He is currently partnered with Officer Helmuth Achtmann. Maverick’s vest is sponsored by an anonymous donor and is embroidered with the sentiment “In honor of brave K-9’s everywhere.”

K9 HERO

Bakersfield Police K9 officers get protective vests

K9 Hero is a 2 year old German Shepherd, who has been working with the Bakersfield Police Department since June, 2016. He is cross-trained in explosives detection and protection work. He is currently partnered with Officer Eric Celedon. Hero’s vest is sponsored by Gilbert and Mary Straw of Bakersfield, and is embroidered with the sentiment, “Bless and Protect this K9 and partner. Thank you.”

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, Mass.,  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 lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 2,200 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 1.9 million dollars. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, Mich.

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 suggested donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050.00. Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. 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 mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.

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