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February 2001


by (Livin' La Vida) Mocha


English Translation:

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 the country.

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

Donations may be sent to:
3529 Cannon Road, STE 2-B-342
Oceanside, CA. 92056