The words “cute” and “lifesaving body armor” rarely go together. But last Friday, K-9 Bob, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois with the Suffolk County Sherriff’s Office, received a ballistic vest thanks to a non-profit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
The vest was paid for with a $950 donation made to the non-profit by the Romano Family in memory of William F. Romano, a decorated Detective and member of New York City Police Department Elite Crime Scene Unit.
Founded in 2009, the East Taunton, Massachusetts-based Vested Interest provides bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs in law enforcement. It is funded through private and corporate donations, and it has provided over 930 law enforcement dogs in 39 states with protective gear at a cost of $880,000.
According to Chief of Staff Michael P. Sharkey, K9 Bob is a dual-purpose drug and search-and-rescue dog, who can track down both suspects and missing persons. His new vest comes from Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, MA, which also did the custom embroidery on it.