West Fargo Police Department’s K9 Macho will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Macho’s vest will be embroidered with the sentiment “Born to Love-Trained to Serve-Loyal Always.” Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.
Macho, a German shepherd, joined the West Fargo Police Department in 2018, after the retirement of West Fargo’s first K9 officer, Disco. The West Fargo Police Department also includes ToSti, a Dutch shepherd, and Brewtus, a German shepherd who was purchased through community donations, in 2019. In 2018, the West Fargo Police Department K9 unit was deployed over 250 times into the community, including several assists for area law enforcement organizations. The West Fargo Police Department K9s are also frequently used for community engagement and demonstrations to help police officers connect with the public and build trust.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA 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. provided over 3,500 U.S. made, custom fitted, NIJ certified protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $6.9 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 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.