LENOIR, NC (April 21, 2017)…City of Lenoir Police Department K9s Axel, Mato, & Cerik will receive bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization “Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.” K9 Axel, Mato, & Cerik’s vests are sponsored by an Anonymous Donor and will be embroidered with the sentiment “Born to Love – Trained to Serve – Loyal Always”. Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.
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 nonprofit 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. has provided over 2,400 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 1.9 million dollars. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.
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 $1,050.00. Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234 and has a five-year warranty, with 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.
Cerik is a German Shepherd who was born on January 30, 2011 in the Czech Republic. Cerik was assigned to his current handler in March of 2016. Cerik participates in weekly training with the other department K9s, Axel and Mato at a minimum of 4 hrs per week with a total of 192 hours per year.
K9 Mato (Pronounced Motto)
K9 Mato is a four year old German Shepherd. Mato was born on December 2, 2012 in the Czech Republic. Mato was selected by his Handler and began his career at Lenoir PD at the beginning of 2014. Mato trains at least 4 hours per week with a total of 192 hours per year.
K9 Axel is a German Shepherd and was born in the Czech Republic on June 30, 2013. He is the newest member of the K9 Unit. K9 Axel was hand selected by his handler and began his career at the Lenoir Police Department in 2014. K9 Axel participates in 4 hours of weekly inservice training for a total of 192 hours per year of in-service training.
The Lenoir Police Department is appreciative to those who have assisted with outfitting the City of Lenoir’s K9s with an added layer of protection that will allow these canines to operate in dangerous situations more safely. Without support from those who donate to such groups as Vested Interest K9s, this opportunity would not be readily available. The City’s K9 Unit plays a vital role in the mission of the Lenoir Police Department to “work with the community to anticipate, define, and meet the needs of our city in the areas of public safety, community wellbeing, and law enforcement.”