STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Emergency Services &
Connecticut State Police
Public Information Office
|Dr. Dora B. Schriro|
Colonel Alaric J. Fox
Division of State Police
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
Connecticut State Police K-9 Tobi Receives Body Armor
(MIDDLETOWN CT – September 7, 2016) - Connecticut State Police’s K-9 Tobi has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K-9 Tobi’s vest is sponsored by Stacy's Pet Porium of Litchfield and embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.”
K-9 Tobi has been assigned to Trooper Bruce Lachance since September 2015 and is currently working at Troop L in Litchfield. K-9 Tobi is a two-year-old German shepherd trained in all patrol functions including tracking, building searches, evidence recovery, apprehension, obstacles and obedience.
Trooper Lachance stopped at Stacy's PetPorium, a pet food and supply store in Litchfield, to purchase some treats for his K-9 partner, Tobi. Trooper Lachance keeps healthy dog treats in his cruiser for Tobi during their work hours. The woman working at the register asked if Tobi was supplied with a bullet and stab proof protective vest. Upon learning that Tobi did not have a vest, the worker asked owner Stacy Crochet if the store could raise the funds needed to sponsor a vest through Vested Interest in K9's Inc. They placed a donation jar on the counter and Stacy's PetPorium customers readily and generously gave to the cause. The community clearly wanted to make sure these dogs were protected because, in a very short period of time, enough funds were raised. Stacy's PetPorium contacted Vested Interest in K9's to start the process of having a custom vest made for Tobi. They wish to thank all of their loyal customers for their generous donations which have made protecting Tobi a reality.
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 nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 partners. Through private and corporate donations, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., has provided more than 2,000 protective vests in all 50 states at a cost of more than $1.7 million. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.
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 $1,050. Each vest has an average weight of 4-5 pounds and has a value between $1,795 – $2,234 and a five-year warranty. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.