VIDEO: K9s to be outfitted with bulletproof vests

Published on Thursday, 27 February 2014 10:47 - Written by By MELISSA DAIGLE, KYTX CBS 19

Smith County Sheriff's Office K9s soon will be protected with bullet-proof vests.

Vested Interest, a non-profit charity, raised more than $155,000 with help from the popular coupon site. Out of about 30,000 law enforcement dogs across the United States, only 136 will receive vests through this grant.

Smith County Sheriff's Office K9s Lanny and Endy are two of them.

"They're highly trained dogs. We have a lot of time invested in them. And, we believe they deserve the same protection we get," Sheriff Larry Smith said.

Sheriff Smith said he was in the process of ordering vests for the dogs when one of his K9 officers located this grant. Receiving the grant will save the county close to $2,000.

"We're still having to replace and order vests for our deputies. So, it is pretty much- when you're under a budget crunch, it's difficult, but it's very important to make sure that the canines are protected," he said.

The dogs are drug dogs, patrol dogs and used for tracking.

"So, when they're tracking a potential felon or something through the woods who may be armed with a knife or a gun, they need to be protected just as the deputies are," he said.

Smith said the vests will protect Lanny and Endy from most bullet and stab wounds.

The vests are expected to arrive in about three and a half months.