Police dogs are the most incredible service dogs. While it’s amazing that a dog can be trained to keep their owner from walking into traffic or notify a person seconds before they have a Grand Mal seizure, there is something special about Police Dogs.
Police Dogs bring bad guys to justice and keep the community safe. Unarmed, they are taught to run toward trouble, bite just hard enough to subdue, and then return to their handler. Loyal, dedicated, and ready to lay down their life, Police Dogs intervene every day for the betterment of society.
Running through flying bullets to apprehend a criminal is only one of the many jobs K9 officers perform. They also sniff out drugs, locate missing persons, and detect explosives. They stay with their handlers while on and off duty, and most often retire in the same home where they lived while on active duty.
Human police officers wear protective equipment on duty. Unfortunately, many K9 officers have no protective gear to wear. It can cost up to 15,000 to train a K9 officer and another “healthy” sum for food and veterinarian bills. It’s up to the community these heroes protect, to provide protection for them.
BACB Unleashed is rolling out its 2016 “Give back to the community” campaign. Last year we worked together to provided pet oxygen masks to Firefighters in Rochester and local communities. This year it’s Operation Vest Defense – where the goal is to work together to provide 2 bullet proof vests to our K9 officers. Each vest costs approximately $1100.00 so our goal is steep.
Here’s what we can do together:
1) For every purchase of BACB Unleashed merchandise/product, BACB Unleashed will donate 10% to Operation Vest Defense.
2) Individuals can purchase a button for $10.00 and 100% of that donation will go to Operation Vest Defense.
3) Monetary donations may be entered in any amount on this form and 100% of that donation will also benefit Operation Vest Defense.
“Many hands make light work.”
We need to work together to keep our community safe. Our K9 officers are precious to us – let’s keep them safe too.
Information from Sergeant Drees, Rochester Police Dept. K9 Unit
Are the vests fitted to the specific K-9 or are other dogs able to use the vest when the dog is retired? First, Yes. The vests are custom fitted for each canine making them non-transferrable to a different team. We have tried to utilize a vest from one canine to another but have found that if not fitted correctly they can rub and cause medical issues for the dogs especially when they are working during hot weather or on calls where they are exposed to gas. In most cases this doesn’t become an issue because the K9 vests are similar to an officer’s vest, and are only good for a period of 7 years and then need to be replaced. So as long as the canine works a full career, they usually work for the life of their vest.
Why is it that sometimes we see the K-9 officers not wearing the protective vests? Again a great question especially coming from those who have graciously donated money to support us. Once a K-9 team has completed their 12 weeks of initial training they are ready to hit the streets. To one day just throw this vest on the dog and send them in to find a dangerous suspect would be unfair to the canine. That circumstance would actually place the dog at greater risk than if they didn’t wear the vest at all. So that the new canine has to receive training to be able to wear and work in the vest. The vest does also hinder the canine from moving and flexing as well and as quickly as they do without. Another consideration we have to make is the temperature. Adding a vest to a canine in very hot weather creates additional risk for that dog to suffer from heat exhaustion. So the general rule for our handlers is this: once your Canine has trained and is proficient working in the vest, then it is to be utilized on high risk deployments when it is safe to do so.