Massachusetts Vest-A-Dog program announced their 2012 calendar, featuring Massachusetts police dogs from Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department, as well as Medford Police Department, Wareham Police Department, Massachusetts Environmental Police and Massachusetts State Police. The calendar is now available online for a $10 donation. Proceeds from the calendars and other donations go to Massachusetts Vest-A-Dog, Inc., an independent, all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to provide support for Massachusetts Police Dogs. This organization provides bulletproof vests, essential equipment and training to Massachusetts K-9 Police. These bulletproof vests range from $1000 to $2400 each, and not only protect police dogs from bullet and stab wounds but also protects against blunt force trauma from being kicked, punched, or struck with heavy objects.
Since 2000, through donors’ generosity and tireless volunteer efforts, over 300 bulletproof vests have been provided to Massachusetts dogs. “We’ve replaced over 100 warranty-expired vests and we’re finally at the point of vesting new K-9s as they become certified,” says Kathy Hinds, President of the organization. “We recently expanded our mission to provide support for essential equipment and training for law enforcement programs throughout Massachusetts. This was in response to K-9 handlers who have frequently noted the fragility of their K-9 budgets and overall lack of funding for essential K-9 equipment (bite sleeves and suits, cruiser kennels, etc.), specialized training, and the ultimate ‘big ticket item’ – the purchase of a dog. We’re offering a bi-annual grant process, with the first grant requests due on December 15th,” Hinds says. “Handlers, K-9 trainers and police departments have already made inquiries about submitting grant requests for cruiser kennels, cruiser heat detector, remote door-popper units, specialized SWAT K-9 equipment, general K-9 training equipment, and funds to purchase a dog to be trained as a K-9 unit.”
“Your donation of $10 for a calendar truly helps make a difference to these hard-working dogs, who provide tremendously valuable services to keep our communities safe,” says Hinds. “Donations of any amount, as well as volunteer assistance, are always welcome.” “Pitching in to support Massachusetts police dogs is the least we can do, providing what’s needed for these four-legged fuzzy officers, as they help keep everyone safe, bring home lost family members, and help find evidence that convicts criminals, “explains Diane Whittaker, Board Member and Clerk of Massachusetts Vest-a-Dog, who has worked as a Certified Veterinary Technician for over 25 years. “They put their lives on the line, but still at the end of the day, they enjoy the work that they do.”
Donations may be sent directly to Massachusetts Vest-a-Dog, Inc, P.O. BOX 48 Walpole, MA 02081. For more information, please call (508) 668-7149 or visit their website at www.mavestadog.org.
~To recognize and support the invaluable service of our local police officers, the McGrath network of hospitals works with our local police canine departments by providing them with annual exams, vaccines and preventive care at no cost. In addition, Main Street Animal Hospital raised money to support the Working Dog Foundation at their annual Santa Sunday event. This foundation works to support the placement, equipping, training, and care of police dogs through community awareness, education, and fundraising programs.