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Mendocino County Sheriff's Office K-9 Rex gets body armor thanks to donations

MCSO K-9 Rex

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) announced that K-9 Rex has received a bullet and stab-protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc.

K-9 Rex's vest was sponsored by Coburn's Construction & Cabinetry, Inc. of Willits, and embroidered with the sentiment "Gifted by Coburn's Construction & Cabinetry."

"Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 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 MCSO said in a press release. "The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K-9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc. provided over 2,600 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over $2.1 million."

The sheriff's office says 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 K-9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050, according to the MCSO. Each vest has a value between $1,795 and $2,234 and a five-year warranty, plus an average weight of 4 to 5 lbs. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K-9s throughout the United States, according to the MCSO.

For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978.

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