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HPD’s K9 Max receives donation of body armor

Police dog posed in front of cruiser

Hilliard Division of Police K9 Max has received a bullet and stab protective vest, thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

The vest was sponsored by Zac and Jennifer Hale of San Antonio, Texas and embroidered with the sentiment “Gifted by Zac & Jennifer Hale.”

K9 Max, a 4-year-old a Belgian Malinois, has been on the job since 2019. He and handler Officer Hunter Schweickart are one of three K9 teams at HPD.

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 more than 4,327 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 $960 will sponsor one vest. Each vest has a value of $1,744-$2,283, weighs an average of 4-5 lb., 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 you may mail your contribution to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.

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