Texarkana Police Department’s K9 Kashko 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 embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of K9 Gabo, Jonesboro, AR EOW 1/16/20”.
Texarkana Police Department’s Lt. White was attending training in Jonesboro, AR on December 11, 2018, when K9 Gabo was deployed on a high-risk encounter. K9 Gabo was shot multiple times during that encounter but survived thanks to the ballistic vest he was wearing. At this time, Lt. White became aware of the organization’s Vested Interest in K9s and applied for a vest for Texarkana’s K9 Kashko. Texarkana Police Department is proud to honor K9 Gabo’s service to law enforcement on K9 Kashko’s vest.
K9 Kashko is currently assigned to handler Officer Tanner Freeman in the Special Operations section of the police department. Our K9 team is often utilized in high-risk situations and we are pleased to know that our valuable K9 partner is now protected by a ballistic vest provided by Vested Interest in K9s.
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 3,867 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 $960.00. 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.