Date: May 26, 2015
To: Local Media
Re: Pittsfield PD K9 Niko
Nonprofit raises over $15,000.00 to equip Mass Police dogs with bullet and stab protective vests
The Pittsfield Police Department’s K9 Niko has been awarded a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a nonprofit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The charity hosted a motorcycle ride August 25, 2013, “Hog Wild for K9s”, which raised over $15,000.00 to be awarded to (16) Massachusetts K9s.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. Each vest costs $1050.00 and has a 5 year warranty. The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four legged K9 Officers. Through private and corporate sponsorships, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 1410 law enforcement dogs in 49 states with protective vests since 2009 at cost of over 1.3 million dollars.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. announces their signature tank top is now available online for a $20.00 donation at www.vik9s.org. Proceeds will provide bullet and stab protective vests, for police dogs actively working without the potentially lifesaving equipment.
The organization orders the U.S. made vests exclusively from distributor Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, MA. who also does the custom embroidery on the body armor.
New K9 graduates as well as K9’s with expired vests are eligible to participate. The program is open to law enforcement dogs who are US employed, certified and at least 19 months of age.
For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Tax deductible donations accepted via mail to: Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718 or the website: www.vik9s.org.
K9 Niko became a member of the Pittsfield Police Department in April 2015 after the Westwood Police Department generously donated K9 Niko to the Pittsfield Police Department.
K9 Niko is a 2 year old German Sheppard assigned to Officer James Parise. Officer Parise and K9 Niko recently completed their certification in patrol with North American Police Work Dog Association. Officer James Parise is a 19 year veteran with the Pittsfield Police Department and has been assigned with the K9 unit since 2006. K9 Niko’s formal police training started in December 2014 with the Boston Police Academy while still assigned with the Westwood Police Department. During that time he completed over 600 hrs of training and was certified in patrol through U.S.P.C.A.