K9 Hannibal of Washington County Sheriff’s Office Receives Donated Body Armor

Washington County Sheriff's office K9 Hannibal, a valuable member of the team, is now equipped with a bullet and stab protective vest, generously donated by the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. [Photo provided by Washington County Sheriff's office]

WASHINGTON COUNTY, FL – In a significant boost to law enforcement safety, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit has received a new addition to their protective gear. K9 Hannibal, a valuable member of the team, is now equipped with a bullet and stab protective vest, generously donated by the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

The vest, custom-fitted and certified by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), was sponsored by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and carries the inscription, “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.” This organization, established in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to providing life-saving body armor and other assistance to K9 units in law enforcement agencies across the United States.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has made a profound impact since its inception, having donated over 5,627 protective vests to K9 officers in all 50 states. These contributions, totaling approximately $6.9 million, are made possible through both private and corporate donations. Each vest, valued at $1,800, is designed to ensure the highest level of safety, weighing an average of 4-5 pounds and offering a five-year warranty.

The charity’s program is open to U.S. law enforcement K9s that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified. K9s with expired vests are also eligible for new gear. It is estimated that there are about 30,000 law enforcement K9s across the nation, highlighting the critical need for such protective equipment.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, with a donation of $985 fully sponsoring one vest. For more information on how to donate or to learn about volunteer opportunities, interested parties can visit their website at www.vik9s.org, call 508-824-6978, or mail contributions to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.