Carroll County Sheriff’s Office K9 Jake has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vest was sponsored by the Downs Family of Anne Arundel County, MD and embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of beloved Amaroq”.
Suzanne Downs is a retired school teacher, who often read the book “Julie of the Wolves”, by Jean Craighead George, to her class. In the story, the main character Julie becomes lost in the wilderness of Alaska, and is protected by a pack of wolves. In the story, Amaroq is the leader of the wolf pack. Because of her love for the story, she named one of her German Shepherds, “Amaroq”.
K9 Jake is teamed up with Master Deputy Brittany Powell, and has been with the Carroll County sheriff’s Office for 2 years. K9 Jake is named in honor of Jacob “Jake” Offutt, a Winter’s Mill High School student who passed away in July, 2015, from an aggressive form of brain cancer. In the attached photograph, K9 Jake is resting on Jake’s Buddy Bench, which was donated to St. John’s Catholic Church in Westminster, in memory of Jake Offutt.
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. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 2,800 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 2.4 million dollars.
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 to participate.
The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.