K9s to be outfitted with bulletproof vests

Published on Saturday, 1 March 2014 00:10 - Written by Melissa Daigle KYTX CBS 19

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

Vested Interest, a nonprofit 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,” Sheriff Larry Smith said. “We have a lot of time invested in them. And, we believe they deserve the same protection we get.”

Smith said he was in the process of ordering vests for the dogs when one of his K9 officers located the 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 and patrol dogs that are used for tracking.

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

The vests are expected to arrive in about 3 1/2 months.