As part of a yearlong partnership with Vested Interest in K-9s, PetArmor is providing funding for bullet and stab protective vests for law enforcement K-9s in multiple cities across the country. In Austin, the donation is benefiting the nine K-9 teams in the Patrol Unit, as listed below:
- Officer Shaun Mierl and his K-9 partner "Jake"
- Officer Patrick O'Connor and his K-9 partner "Tex"
- Officer Art Nelsen and his K-9 partner "Jaeger"
- Officer Daniel Eveleth and his K-9 partner "Bear"
- Officer Jimmie Davenport and his K-9 partner "Wiley"
- Officer Randy Casler and his K-9 partner "Sumo"
- Officer DJ Lahr and his K-9 partner "Blitz"
- Officer Derrick Bowman and his K-9 partner "Cash"
- Officer Nathan Wagner and his K-9 partner "Diesel"
"My Patrol K-9 Unit assists patrol officers with apprehensions and searches and evidence. We also assist the SWAT Team and various other units throughout the department," said Austin Police Department Sergeant Chris Gwaldo. "We are thrilled that – thanks to PetArmor – our entire unit will be more fully protected while on the job."
More often than not, law enforcement agencies do not have the budgets to provide vests for K-9 officers, which cost around $1,000 each, leaving police dogs unprotected while helping to fight crime. Vested Interest in K-9s is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing bullet and stab protective vests to police organizations nationwide. Since 2009, the non-profit organization has provided 437 vests.
"Police K-9 units provide an invaluable service to their community and deserve the same kind of protection as their human counterparts," said Sandy Marcal, founder of Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc. "Thanks to PetArmor, many more police dogs will be protected from harm while they protect their neighborhoods and towns."
The K-9 vests are custom sized to provide maximum comfort and mobility. The K-9 vests provide maximum coverage to the vital organs in addition to a rear extension panel to accommodate dogs with longer torsos.
PetArmor's initial donation benefits dogs in Texas, Florida and Maryland where police departments have requested assistance in vesting their police dogs.
"As a leader in pet protection, PetArmor is excited to partner with Vested Interest in K-9s and protect the dogs that put their lives on the line to protect us," said Bob Scharf of Perrigo Animal Health. "This partnership is a continuation of PetArmor's ongoing animal welfare and charity efforts."