HILLSBORO, OR — A Hillsboro Police Department K9 will receive a body armor donation from an east coast nonprofit thanks to the generosity of one Tigard-based tattoo artist. Hillsboro police spokesman, Lt. Henry Reimann, said the body armor should be here within eight to 10 weeks.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., located in East Taunton, Massachusetts, since 2009 has produced bullet and stab protective vests for K9 officers across the country, including several K9s in the Portland metro region. Late last month Patch reported another body armor donation to the Lake Oswego Police Department’s two K9s, Chase and Szemi, and in April we shared the news that HPD K9 Dozer would receive a vest as well.
Reimann said HPD K9 Oso would be the beneficiary of the latest donation, which comes from Joe Newsom of Tigard’s Skin City Tattoo.
“We just wanted to give back to the community … and it’s cool to help protect (the K9s),” Newsom told Patch on Friday. “They do so much for us.”
The vest for Oso will come embroidered with the message: “This gift of protection provided by Skin City Tattoo.”
A dog lover himself, Newsom said his family has three of their own. Additionally, Newsom said his law enforcement-friendly shop is somewhat popular for deputies and police in Washington County to get work done.
While working on a friend not too long ago Newsom learned a bit about the Vested Interest organization, and together they discussed how they could help their mutual friend Officer Mike Lee, Oso’s HPD handler. After contacting Vested Interest in K9s, Newsom said the process to get the vest donated was a fairly easy.
Now Oso will join more than 3,100 K9s across the US that have received body armor through private and corporate donations to Vested Interest in K9s. All told, the donations made so far are valued around $5.7 million.
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 $950.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs.
An estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s are currently active 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.
Image via Hillsboro Police Department