The nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s (VIK9s) was the beneficiary of fundraising efforts by members of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) when they convened in Miami, FL, May 21–23 for the 2019 NASC Annual Conference. Each year, the NASC selects a nonprofit animal-centric organization to support during its conference. This year, NASC members and affiliates in attendance raised $42,340 for VIK9s, money that will be used to provide ballistic vests and other services to law enforcement dogs in the U.S.
Fundraising kicked off with a presentation by Lisette Guillen, ambassador for VIK9s and former host of the TV show “Crime Stoppers Case Files: Chicago,” who shared with attendees the important mission VIK9s carries out. At an evening reception, attendees enjoyed a demonstration of obedience, scent tracking, and bite work from the Miami Police Department’s K-9 Unit. The officers and their dogs then socialized with attendees and posed for photos. A silent auction rounded out the evening and when the dust settled, NASC members gave enough to provide 43 law enforcement dogs with a protective vest, plus cash donations for VIK9s equaling $1,490. VIK9s will receive 100% of the proceeds from the fundraiser.
“We are proud to support an organization that helps to protect law enforcement dogs across the country,” said Bill Bookout, NASC President. “I am truly humbled by the generosity shown by NASC member companies and individual donors at this year’s fundraiser. Because of them, 43 dogs will be safer as they head out on patrol each day.”
VIK9s will outfit the dogs with the most advanced, USA-made, certified, state-of-the-art equipment to provide ultimate protection for K9 officers. Each certified vest is custom fit to the dog that will wear it, has a five-year warranty, and would retail for up to $2,235. Through an exclusive partnership with the manufacturer, each donation of $950 makes it possible for VIK9s to provide one vest to a K9 officer.
“Law enforcement K9s put their lives on the line to ensure the safety of their partner and community,” said Sandy Marcal, VIK9s President. “The dogs are valued by their family, department and community and It’s about protecting them from threats when they enter high-risk situations. These four-legged officers are often first on the scene in the most dangerous confrontations.”
To learn more about Vested Interest in K9s, visit www.vik9s.org.