Youngwood K-9s get some job protection
Two Youngwood rescue dogs are putting safety first with their new bulletproof vests.
The vests came from Vested Interest in K9s, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that donates protective clothing for canine professionals.
Youngwood applied to Vested Interest for vests for two of its search and rescue dogs, Bella and Rusty.
“We're trying to protect them just like we're trying to protect all of our firemen,” Youngwood fire Chief Lloyd Crago said.
He said he hopes to eventually purchase vests for all 10 of the department's rescue dogs, but since each custom-fitted vest costs $950 it will take some major fundraising efforts to make it happen.
Vested Interest has been providing vests free of charge since it was founded in 2009.
“The dogs that are taking care of us, we have to take care of them. They deserve the same level of protection as human officers,” said Vested Interest president and founder Sandy Marcal.
This need for protection was highlighted earlier this year when Rocco, a K-9 officer in Pittsburgh, died of a stab wound.
Vested Interest launched a nationwide fundraiser following Rocco's death. It brought in about $335,000 in less than a month, enough for 335 vests.
All the vests funded through this effort, including those donated to Bella and Rusty, have been embroidered with “In Memory of K9 Rocco, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.”
So far, all dogs nationwide who meet the application requirements have been able to receive a vest, Marcal said.
“We don't have a waiting list. We haven't had a waiting list in three years,” she said.
To be eligible, dogs must be fully grown and certified for the type of work they are doing.
The vests are lightweight, at just over 4 pounds, and easy for the dogs and their handlers to get used to, Crago said.
“It's just a little bit of a learning curve for the dog and the handler,” he said.
The Youngwood Volunteer Fire Department plans to begin fundraising for more vests soon.
Jacob Tierney is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.