February 21, 2018
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Four-legged officers to receive bullet and stab protection vests

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AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Corrections announces that two four-legged officers will receive bullet and stab protective vests.

K9s Rex and Gunner are scheduled to receive bullet and stab protective vests from Vested Interest in K9s Inc., a Massachusetts-based 501c(3) nonprofit and the Petco Foundation. K9s Rex and Gunner are two of 16 police K9s in New England that will receive vests thanks to a $15,000 grant awarded by Petco Foundation to Vested Interest in K9s Inc.

Maine Corrections Officer Troy Hood is a K9 handler at Mountain View Youth Development Center and Charleston Correctional Facility who received Gunner in July 2012 from Gunner’s previous owner. Hood and Gunner are working toward their recertification as a team in both patrol work and narcotics detection.

K9 Handler Officer Brian Donahue at Maine Correctional Center owns Rex, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois. They are certified as a patrol team and in school for team certification for narcotics detection.

Donahue says the vests are helpful because Rex is trained to not know fear. “When I tell him to go, he goes,” Donohue said in a press release.

The Petco Foundation has served as a voice for companion animals nationwide since 1999. Today, with more than 8,000 local animal-welfare partners, the Petco Foundation donates approximately $15 million a year to make a difference in the lives of millions of animals. To learn more, visit www.petcofoundation.org

Vested Interest in K9s Inc. is a 501c (3) all-volunteer charity whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests for law enforcement dogs throughout the United States. Each vest costs $950 and has a 5-year warranty. Vested Interest in K9s Inc. has provided more than 438 law enforcement dogs with protective vests since its inception in August 2009. More than $400,000 in K9 vests have been donated in 36 states.

For more information, visit www.vik9s.org or call 508-824-6978.