UNION COUNTY, NJ — Union County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Milo has received a bullet- and stab-protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s Inc. The vest was sponsored by Julie Tropeano of Lincroft and embroidered “In memory of Angelo Tropeano.”
Vested Interest in K9s Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charity located in East Taunton, Mass., with a mission to provide bullet- and stab-protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States.
The nonprofit was established in 2009 to provide law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K-9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s Inc. has provided more than 3,500 U.S.-made, custom-fitted, National Institute of Justice–certified protective vests, to K-9s in all 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $6.9 million.
The program is open to dogs actively employed in the United States with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K-9 graduates, as well as K-9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K-9 is $950. Each vest is valued at $1,744 to $2,283, has a five-year warranty and weighs 4 to 5 pounds on average. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K-9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s Inc. accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.