BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The group Vested Interest is taking a vested interest in two K9s with the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office. The national organization works to raise money to buy bullet and stab protective vests for K9 units all over the country.
Their most recent fundraiser, which is run through Groupon, has already raised more than $300,000 in honor of a Pennsylvania K9, named K9 Rocco. K9 Rocco was stabbed to death in the line of duty in January 2014.
Sandy Marcal, with Vested Interest, said the vests for both K9 X and K9 Ajk, with the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, were made possible because of that fundraiser.
All vests purchased through the fundraiser will be embroidered with the phrase "In Memory of K9 Rocco, Pittsburgh Police Department." The vests cost $950 each.
Brunswick County Sheriff's officials said right now no K9 officers have protective vests in their department, which is why they are so grateful for the donation.
K9 X's partner, Cpl. Ricky Smith, said the dogs are in dangerous situations just like their fellow human officers.
"We can take cover. The dogs are going to run towards danger, that's what they are trained to do," explained Smith. "They aren't going to take cover they are going to be the first ones to go in a house or the first ones to go in a vehicle if need be."
He said that's why he's so glad K9 X will now be wearing a bullet proof and stab protective vest.
"There could be danger there and he's not going to stop he's still going to apprehend the suspect. Luckily with these vest, we can be a little more at ease when we do what we have to do and send them after somebody," Cpl. Smith said.
Sheriff's office officials said they hope to be able to get vests for their other K9s as well.
Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.
322 Shipyard Boulevard