WCSO K-9 Tia Will Get New Body Armor
Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office K9 Tia will receive her very own bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. Delivery is expected within eight to 10 weeks.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, Massachusetts, and it’s 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 3,300 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $5.7 million dollars.
The program is open to certified dogs, at least 20 months of age, actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies.
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 $950. Each vest has a value between $1,744 to $2,283 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of four to five pounds. 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.
Sheriff Koontz stated Deputy Jordan Swanberg and his new K-9 partner Tia are both very motivated and currently in service. The donation of this vest is greatly appreciated for the protection of K-9 partner Tia.
K-9 Tia was purchased from Ultimate Working Dogs, located in St. Albans, W.Va. Tia, purchased in September, turned two-years-old on Dec. 11 and is a Giant Schnauzer. She is trained in narcotics detection and tracking. K-9 Tia has been fully trained and certified in the state for narcotics and tracking; Detective Donnie Harris, from the New Martinsville Police Department, assisted with some of the training.
Tia has been with Swanberg since the end of October but was just certified on Dec. 5.