File Photo – Lake County Sheriff’s Canine Drako and handler Deputy Roxana Stancioiu | Provided Photo

Lake County Sheriff’s Office canine Drako will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a donation from a non-profit organization sponsored by a private donor.

The vest is being donated by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and will be embroidered with the sentiment “In honor of Nancy Plis.”

Drako’s vest is sponsored by a fundraiser hosted by Brittany Piccola of Watchung, New Jersey. Delivery is expected in eight to 10 weeks.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. was established in 2009 and is a 501(c)(3) charity whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States.

The potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged officers is made in the United States, custom-fitted, and NIJ certified, Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said.

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“We are so grateful for the support from Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and our Lake County community. It is so important to keep our canine deputies as safe as possible. We continue to enthusiastically grow our canine unit, because we have seen what a tremendous resource they are to Lake County,” Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg said.

Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 5,000 vests to canines in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.

The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. Canines with expired vests are also eligible to participate.

There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement canines throughout the United States.

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Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount. A donation of $985 sponsors one vest.

Each vest has a value of $1,800, weighs an average of 4-5 pounds and comes with a five-year warranty.

Those interested in more information or who want to learn about volunteer opportunities can call 508-824-6978.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events and accepts donations at www.vik9s.org.