A four-legged member of the Muscatine Police Department has new body armor, thanks to sponsorship from a couple in Galesburg.

Muscatine Police K9 Dexter recently received a bullet and stab protective vest from the nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. Dexter’s vest was sponsored by Don and Misty Fike of Galesburg, and is embroidered with the message, “Born to Love-Trained to Serve-Loyal Always”.

Photo courtesy Muscatine Police Department

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc was established in 2009 and is a 501(c)(3) charity that provides bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the U.S. This lifesaving body armor is made in America, custom fitted and NIJ certified. Since 2009, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 4,800 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million. These vest donations are made possible by both private and corporate donations. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount; a donation of $960 will sponsor one vest. Each vest has a value of $1,744-$2,283, weighs an average of four to five pounds and comes with a five-year warranty.

The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. K9s with expired vests are also eligible to participate. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.

For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call (508) 824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events and accepts donations here, or donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.