TETON VALLEY, IDA – Teton County Sheriff’s Office K9 Max has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vest was sponsored by a fundraiser hosted by Alaska K9 Center, North Pole, Alaska and embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of K9 Helo, Alaska State Trooper.”
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 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 2,600 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 2.1 million dollars.
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 $950. Each vest has a value between $1,744-$2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.
Deputy Gunderson and Max would like to thank the persons and or organizations responsible for the donation of funds for this vest. Deputy Gunderson and Max are proud to honor K9 Helo from the Alaska State Troopers, whose memory is in the vest.
Max began his tour of duty with the Teton County Sheriff’s Office earlier this summer. He has quickly climbed the ranks as the most popular deputy in the office.
Max’s partner and handler, Deputy Sheriff Tyson Gunderson, remarked, “Max is a great K9 partner. He’s always ready to work and his temperament makes him great to be around the family while he is home.”
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