Thanks to the non-profit Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., the dogs attached to the Hawaii’s Department of Public Safety Sheriff’s Division now have specially custom-fit protective vests, says a Sept. 19 Public Safety Dept. press release. The five vests, which cost $950 each, will protect the department’s dogs against bullet and stab wounds, states the release.
“The loyalty and service demonstrated by these animals is worthy of recognition, and we are grateful they are being given added protection as they work alongside their human counterparts to enforce the law,” Governor Neil Abercrombie said at a Sept. 19 unveiling at Washington Place, according to the press release. “These vests compliment recently expanded protections provided by Act 205, codifying the term ‘law enforcement animal’ into the Penal Code, which I was pleased to sign into law in June.”
The press release states that state Sheriff Deputy Frank Lacaden was responsible for contacting Vested in K9s and getting them to make the donation.
There are multiple providers of body armor for dogs around the nation. According to Vested in K9s’ website (Vik9s.org), the Massachusetts-based organization has so far provided 437 protective vests to law enforcement dogs through the U.S.
“Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is proud to have provided each of the Sheriff’s Division law enforcement dogs with protective vests that could potentially save their lives,” says Vested Interest in K9 President Sandy Marcal in the press release. “We are very grateful to the donors across the country who helped make this possible through the Groupon campaign.”
Of course, this doesn’t really help Maui very much, since all the Sheriffs’ K9 dogs are stationed on Oahu.
“We don’t have any K9s on Maui,” said Toni Schwartz, the public information office for the state Dept. of Public Safety. “The unit is based on Oahu. If asked by any agencies to come to Maui and assist in a situation they would go.”