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November 26, 2019 - 12:58pm

GC Sheriff's Office K9 Frankie will soon get protective vest, thanks to donations

File photo of K9 Frankie and his handler, Deputy Chris Erion.

From the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

Genesee County Sheriff’s Office K9 Frankie will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from the nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s Inc. and private citizen donors.

K9 Frankie is a 2 1/2-year-old Belgian Malinois from Holland and was named in honor of deceased Deputy Frank Bordonaro. K9 Frankie’s vest will be embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of GS-29.” Delivery is expected within eight to 10 weeks.

Vested Interest in K9s Inc. is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton, Mass., 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 officers. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.

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.

Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s Inc. has provided more than 3,500 U.S.-made, custom-fitted, NIJ-certified (National Institute of Justice) protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $6.9 million.

The program is open to dogs actively employed in the United States 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.

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.

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