MAYWOOD, N.J. -- A Maywood police dog whose extraordinary ability to trace human scent helps find missing children and adults will be protected by a vest donated by a national non-profit organization.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc expects delivery of the vest to Zoey -- a 6-year-old bloodhound handled by K-9 Officer Chris Nichols -- to take eight to 10 weeks, Police Chief David Pegg said.
The vest will help protect her from shootings and stabbings, he said.
The first and only bloodhound in the history of Bergen County law enforcement, Zoey isn't like most police dogs in other ways.
"As a result of her extraordinary ability to scent discriminate, her sole purpose is to trail human scent," Pegg said. "She is used in some of the most sensitive cases involving missing children, disabled persons and criminal investigations."
Nichols was thrilled by the gift, paid for by an anonymous donor.
"The vest will ensure the utmost safety for Zoey during the most dangerous of searches,” he said.
Established in 2009, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) in East Taunton, MA that provides the vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States.
Over the years, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided more than 2,200 protective vests worth nearly $2 million in all 50 states, thanks to private and corporate donations. All of the vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050.
Each vest weighs four to five pounds and has a value between $1,795 – $2,234 and a five-year warranty.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.