JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) -A small but mighty law enforcement officer has some added protection.
According to a Facebook post issued by the Craighead County Sheriff’s Office, K9 Nero has received a body armor donation.
Deputy Nero has received a bullet and stab protective vest from non-profit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.
The vest was embroidered with the sentiment “Honoring those who served and sacrificed."
K9 Nero is trained in both narcotics and tracking and his partner is Deputy Sheriff James Teague.
Deputy Teague said he has worked with Nero for about a year.
“It’s really important he have a vest,” Deputy Teague said. “It makes me feel better about putting him out there to track and in dangerous situations.
Teague said he has enjoyed working with the dog.
"It’s been excellent working with Nero,” Teague said. “It’s like getting to bring your pet to work with you every day.”
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton, Mass.
Their mission is to provide protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States.
The non-profit was established in 2009 and since that time it has provided over 3,400 protective vests in 50 states to four-legged officers.
The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age.
New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950.
Each vest has a value between $1,744 to $2,283, with a five-year warranty.
There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.
For more information about Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978.