In 1999, eleven-year-old Stephanie Taylor read a story about a New Jersey police dog named “Solo” who was killed in the line of duty. This story, along with the knowledge that the Associated Humane Society of New Jersey had raised money to vest their police dogs, gave her the idea to start VEST-A-DOG, Inc. Her first dog to be vested would be “Tiko”, the K-9 partner of Oceanside, California Officer Jim Wall.
Stephanie started her project by making donation boxes and distributing them in local veterinarians’ offices and pet stores. After her donation boxes and fliers were delivered she then contacted her local newspaper to inform them of her program. The response to her efforts astounded everyone. Within three weeks, Stephanie had not only received enough money to purchase one vest for Tiko, but had raised enough funds to buy another five vests for the Oceanside Police K-9 Department.
Why vest a dog?
K-9 police dogs are important and necessary for crime prevention in our community. They loyally carry out their dangerous work every day to keep us safe. These canine officers, like human officers, deserve the protection of body armor. Sadly, many law enforcement agencies and police departments do not have the funds to purchase vests that can save the lives of their police dogs.
How much does a K9 vest cost?
The cost of a vest can vary due to differences in quality, material, protection level, weight, etc. Lower prices may sometimes mean fewer layers of ballistic protection.
What do K9 vests protect against?
Vests are bulletproof and/or stabproof (e.g. knives, ice picks). In addition, they minimize blunt trauma injuries. In the past 10 years, bullet, stab or blunt trauma injuries caused 60% of police dog deaths.
How do the K9 vests compare to human officers’ vests?
The K-9 One™ vest is made with Dupont Kevlar, which is the same material that human officers wear. This vest also undergoes the same testing criteria.
Need A Vest
If you know of a K-9 Protector in need of protective gear, sign in and add your K-9 to the our list of dogs to receive a donated vest through our nationwide network. Police K-9 handlers throughout the country can register their dogs with Vest-A-Dog to receive fundraising help. Notify your local police department about this opportunity.