Laurens County Sheriff’s Office K9 officers Annie and Rice will be a little bit safer now, thanks to a generous donation from an organization that donated bulletproof vests at no cost to the county.
The donations came courtesy of Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., a nonprofit charity in East Taunton, Mass. established in 2009 to provide four-legged law enforcement officers with bullet and stab protective vests across the country.
The program, funded through private and corporate donations, equips K9 officers with custom made body armor from Armor Express in Central Lake, Mich., which can cost over $2,000 each.
Annie and Rice are both bloodhounds who have been working for the LCSO since August last year. Since then, the two dogs and their handlers, Dep. Josh Cogdill and Sgt. David Lollis, have been called out to 17 incidents.
Annie is a two-year-old female who has been with the LCSO since she was a puppy, while Rice is a six-year-old male who came from another sheriff’s office in South Carolina as a puppy. The National Police Working Dog Association certified both dogs in tracking and trailing suspects, as well as individuals that may be lost.
“The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. for the donation of two bullet and stab vests for our bloodhounds, Annie and Rice,” said Sheriff Ricky Chastain. “With this donation, we will be able to provide protection for our working dogs as they assist our deputies in the apprehension of violent criminals in Laurens County.”
For more information about Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. or to make a donation, visit www.vik9s.org or call (508) 824-6978.