Two State Police dogs, including one from Aroostook County, are being awarded bullet and stab protective vests thanks to the efforts of a Massachusetts based non-profit organization.

State Police have all of their patrol canines equipped with vests. The two dogs receiving vests are Champ and Merry.

K9 Champ - Maine State Police

Champ and his handler - Trooper Jeremy Forbes, patrol York County as part of Troop A.  Champ is also a certified drug detection dog.

K9 Merry - Maine State Police

Merry and his handler – Trooper Jared Sylvia, patrol in Aroostook County as part of Troop F.

Vested Interest in K9s is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA. whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests for law enforcement dogs throughout the United States. The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their canines.

New canine graduates as well as dogs with expired vests are eligible to apply for the ballistic vests.  The program is available to US employed and certified law enforcement dogs that are at least 19 months of age.

More information is available on their web site - www.vik9s.org.