by (Livin' La Vida) Mocha
Growing numbers of U.S. police dogs are
being outfitted with bulletproof vests. This is a
wonderful part of a new campaign to protect man's best
friend from America's most wanted. If you look at the
record for police canines, there are quite a number of
them that are either injured or die while in the line of
duty. Dog vests have only recently been introduced to law
enforcement and provide police dogs with much needed
added protection during high-risk searches.
In January, twelve K-9 police dogs in San Jose, CA,
became the latest to be equipped with bulletproof
protection, thanks to a donation from a local family.
Leslie Mayr donated the vests to the San Jose police
department, because she had heard about a donation being
made to police dogs in Sacramento and decided she also
wanted to help.
Other dogs have also benefited from such publicity.
"Vest-a-Dog," is an Orange County,
California-based nonprofit organization which aims to
find public donors for canine bulletproof vests. VAD was
launched in 1999, by Stephanie Taylor. This 11-year-old
California girl grew concerned about K-9 safety after
reading about a New Jersey police dog killed in the line
of duty, and decided to take action. To date, the
nonprofit organization has helped arrange funding to
provide bulletproof vests for some 600 police dogs around
Bulletproof dog vests run from collar to tail, attaching
under the animal's belly with Velcro straps. Made of the
same materials used in human body armor, the jackets are
designed to protect most vital organs of the dog from
gunshots or stab attempts. Vests come in black, navy and
olive green, and are not cheap. At around $500 each,
officials say that is small price to pay considering
police dogs themselves can cost as much as $8,000 apiece.
Stephanie needs the help of schools, clubs or individuals
to join her campaign by organizing a VEST-A-DOG program
in their community. For A Free Information Package visit http://vestadog.com/info.htm
Donations may be sent to:
3529 Cannon Road, STE 2-B-342
Oceanside, CA. 92056