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Minot Police department asks people to donate to provide vests for K9s

Donations pay for vest to protect Minot police dog

Submitted Photo Minot Police Department K9 Officer Mace is on the job with Minot Police Mobile Command.

Mace, a two-year-old K9 working with the Minot Police Department, will be better protected when he is on duty when he receives a vest that will protect him against bullet and stab wounds.

The vest has been purchased thanks to a donation from the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s Inc., according to a press release from the Minot Police Department.

Capt. John Klug of the police department said that Mace’s vest will be embroidered with the words “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.”

The vest is set to be delivered in eight to 10 weeks.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, Mass. Its mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests to dogs working with law enforcement and related agencies throughout the U.S., according to the release. The non-profit organization was established in 2009 to help law enforcement agencies purchase body armor for their police dogs. Since it was established, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided more than than 3,300 protective vests to law enforcement agencies in all 50 states. Private and corporate donations total $5.7 million.

Submitted Photo K9 Mace is two years old and came from Hungary. He was trained in Indiana.

The organization will help provide body armor for dogs ages 20 months old that have been certified as K9s and actively working with a certified law enforcement or related agency.

New K9 graduates or 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 and $2,283 and a five year warranty, and an average weight of 4 to 5 pounds or above.

There are an estimated 30,000 dogs working as K9s with law enforcement agencies in 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 tax deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, Mass., 02718.

Dogs like Mace are called upon to do dangerous work, detecting drugs, tracking evidence, helping to protect their handlers or apprehend suspects.

“Mace is a Dual-Purpose dog,” said Mace’s handler, Matthew Pappenfus, in an email. “(That means) he does narcotic(s) work and patrol work.”

Pappenfus said that the Minot Police Department currently has two K9s, Mace and K9 Lois and will be adding a third in May. That dog will be a dual-purpose explosive dog.

The department got Mace when he was 1 1/2 years old. Mace is from Hungary and his K9 training was done in Denver, Ind., at Vohne Liche Kennels.

Pappenfus added that K9 Vested Interest just approved the ballistic vest based on donations from “people in our great community.”

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