We’re at the Sheriff's office in Bristol County, Massachusetts, and a K-9 here named Axel is wearing a stab proof and bulletproof vest, all because of a really unique program called Vested Interest in K-9s.
For a long time, a lot of these dogs have been without vests. Their human partners have been protected, but many dogs haven’t had the proper vests.
“The dog goes in first, he’s a first responder,” says Vested Interest’s founder Sandy Marcal, “and he deserves to have the vests just like his human partner. He needs it, you know, it’s important. You don’t know what’s on the other end, what’s going to happen.”
These vests are expensive, $950 each, so there's a lot of fundraising going on across the country to get them on these dogs, and the officers say it's worth it, they really need them.
“It's ballistic, that way if I need to send him in on a suspect he's well protected. I have full confidence knowing that if he has to go in, he's well protected, and I'll be right there with him,” says Officer Brennan Bulgar of the Bristol County K-9 Unit.
Vested Interest in K-9’s is a unique nonprofit, and you can find out how you can join in at vik9s.org and of course on our website, ABCNews.com.