Three police dogs in St. Petersburg have received bullet and stab-proof vests via a donation from a Massachusetts-based charity.
Vested Interest in K9s Inc. donated the vests to the St. Petersburg Police Department. They will outfit K-9s King, Nacho, and Axel with protective gear.
The vests also have embroidery memorializing former St. Pete K-9s Soren, Titan, and Stitch, according to an announcement from St. Petersburg Police Department.
East Taunton, Massachusetts-based Vested Interest was established in 2009. It provides custom-fitted protective body armor for police dogs. The group has provided close to 5,300 vets to K-9s nationally valued at $6.9 million, St. Petersburg Police Department said in an announcement.
There are approximately 30,000 active police dogs in the U.S.
St. Petersburg Police Department has 12 dogs in its K-9 unit.
“Full staff would be 15. We’ve lost a couple due to illness and aging out, so we will be looking to add a few more this year to reach that 15 number,” said Yolanda Fernandez, community awareness division manager for St. Petersburg Police Department.