A donation from a non-profit organization will help protect one of Duluth's finest. Vested Interest in K9's, Inc. has gifted Duluth Police Department's K9 Luna a bullet and stab protection vest to help keep this canine officer safe.  The vest comes with a dedication to one of the Duluth Police Department's fallen K9 officers; the organization had the vest embroidered with the words "In memory of K9 Haas, Duluth Police Department, MN."

The donation from Vested Interest in K9's is part of a program to benefit police dogs across the country.  It's open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old, actively employed, and certified with law enforcement or related agencies.  Combined, there are about 30,000 law enforcement K9's throughout the United States.  While donations from this program are aimed at getting original equipment in place for new recruits, older K9's with expired vests are also eligible to participate and are qualified for a new donation.

Established in 2009, Vested Interest in K9's, Inc. has provided more than 3,917 vests to K9's in all 50 states across the country, with a combined estimated value of $6.9 million.  Private and corporate donations have worked together to provide the necessary funding.

Vested Interest in K9's, Inc. declares their main mission as "provid(ing) bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States".  The organization points out that the vests they donate are custom-fitted, NIJ-certified, and fully made in the United States.

If you're interested in providing funds to help make their mission possible, Vested Interest in K9's, Inc. accepts tax-deductible donations in any amount; a single donation of $950 sponsors the full cost of one vest. After donation, each vest has a value of $1,744 to $2,283, weighs an average of 4 to 5 pounds, and comes with a five year warranty.  To make a donation, call 508-824-6978 or go to vik9s.org.

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