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Four-legged officers to receive bullet and stab protection vests

Posted Sept. 25, 2013, at 12:41 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 28, 2013, at 1:44 p.m.
K9 Rex and his handler Officer Brian Donahue
K9 Rex and his handler Officer Brian Donahue
K9 Gunner and handler Officer Troy Hood
K9 Gunner and handler Officer Troy Hood

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.

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