Great news for the Seneca County Sheriff K-9 Unit. Both canines have been outfitted with new ballistic body armor. Kevlar for K9 foundation in Colorado funded the vests for both dogs. Each of the vests come will a special patch that memorializes Kim Pisarick, a young vet technician in Denver, Colorado. She was hit and killed by a drunk driver and in her memory her mother donates to Kevlar for K9's. Sgt. Michael Rhinehart and Under-sheriff Gary Sullivan spearheaded the project to obtain grant funding to purchase the ballistic armor for the dogs. Sullivan says, "We have a huge monetary investment in both IZAK, an explosives detector canine and AKEN, a narcotics detector canine and anything we can do to protect them we certainly will." Each vest cost $800.00.
(Left: K9 Izak and Sgt. Rhinehart, Right: Deputy John Fowler and K9 Aken)
Kevlar for K9's was started by Cindy Elkind, whose daughter was a police officer in the Air Force, got to know the Kennel Master at Buckley AFB in Denver, Colorado, and she provided two vests which were shared by canines serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. As the dogs returned the vests were recycled to other canines being deployed overseas. As word of Cindy's actions grew, she began receiving donations and her first big break was receiving recognition by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. As more and more requests for vests for canines grew, so did donors who were willing to support vesting active police and military canines.