West Boylston – The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office announced today its K9 Maya, a two year old single purpose trailing bloodhound, has received her bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Maya’s vest was sponsored by the Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. 2015 “Santa Paws and Grinch” fundraiser hosted by Especially for Pets in Medway, MA and is embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of K9’s Molly and Adam”.

Officer Peter Campo has been Maya’s handler since January 2015. Together they work out of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department where they are trained to conduct missing persons searches, criminal apprehensions and routinely assists local communities in active searches.

WCSO Officer Peter Campo, K9 Maya & Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis pictured at the Worcester County Jail & House of Correction. The Sheriff's Office announced this week that Maya, a two year old single purpose trailing bloodhound, has received her bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc (Submitted Photo)

WCSO Officer Peter Campo, K9 Maya & Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis pictured at the Worcester County Jail & House of Correction. The Sheriff’s Office announced this week that Maya, a two year old single purpose trailing bloodhound, has received her bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc (Submitted Photo)

“Maya is now safer on the job, thanks to her bullet and stab resistant vest donated by Vested Interest. We’re grateful to Vested Interest in K9s for facilitating this donation for Maya, as well as the community members that attended the fundraising event that made the donation possible.” said WCSO Officer Peter Campo.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 2,000 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 1.7 million dollars. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, MI.

The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a-law enforcement K9 is $1,050.00. Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000-law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.

“The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office is very appreciative of the Vested Interest in K9s Organization for their generous donation of a bullet and stab protective vest for our K9 Maya. Our K9’s work very hard each day facing challenging situations and keeping us safe, it’s extremely important we do all we can to help keep them safe in the line of duty.” said Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis.