A bullet/stab-proof K9 vest can range anywhere between $1,006 to $2,400, according to Kathy Kinds from Massachusetts Vest-a-Dog, a nonprofit that works to get vests to dogs in the line of duty.
Most patrol-duty K9s, she adds, have a $1,006 vest, and the higher end are for dogs who serve on SWAT teams.
"The vest will also protect K9s against blunt force trauma from being kicked, punched or struck with an object such as a bat," she said.
Buzzy the German Shepherd works on the Shrewsbury Police Department with his handler/patrolman Chad Chysna. Chysna, along with Barb Smith, who owns Companion Pet Sitting in Shrewsbury, wanted to outfit Buzzy with this protective vest.
Last weekend, Smith held a Pictures with Santa fundraiser, and is happy to report the event raised $800 toward the purchase of a vest. In addition, residents have been stopping by the Shrewsbury police station to donate to the cause.
"Buzzy is not only a phenomenal police dog, but he is fantastic with my family as well," said Chysna, who has been Buzzy's handler for five years. "It never ceases to amaze me how he can transition from one environment to the other."
And Buzzy is well on his way to getting a vest, so he'll be well protected when he's on the scene. With donations plus the benefit a total of $1,300 was raised, which "should be enough for a new vest."
Donations keep coming in, said Chysna.
"It's great that donations keep coming in," said Chysna. "The money also will be used for training, updated equipment, food and additional K9 expenses to keep K9 buzzy safe and effective."
"K9 budgets are fragile in all agencies," added Hines, "whether at the state, county or local level. It's expensive to run a K9 program. We've been lucky in Massachusetts; only two K9s I know have been shot in the line of duty, but it was before vests were available."
For those who wish to donate, make checks payable to Shrewsbury Police K9 Donation and send to Shrewsbury Police, 106 Maple Ave., Shrewsbury, MA 01545, attention Officer Chad Chysna.