For Immediate Release: 10/18/2023
California State Parks K-9 Hugo Receives Body Armor Donation
SACRAMENTO, Calif.— California State Parks K-9 Hugo has received a bullet and stab protective vest, thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.K-9 Hugo’s vest was sponsored by Douglas MacArthur of Clearfield, UT and embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of Erika K. MacArthur”.
“California State Parks is grateful to be the recipient of this charitable donation for K-9 Hugo,” said Michael Gleckler, K-9 Program Superintendent II with California State Parks. “As part of the State Parks K-9 program in existence for over 50 years, K-9 Hugo will now be better protected himself while protecting not only peace officers but the millions of visitors who enjoy their public lands.”
K-9 Hugo and his handler, State Park Peace Officer Matt Pasquarella, patrol Old Sacramento State Historic Park. In addition to being trained to find and apprehend uncooperative suspects while protecting his handler, other officers and the public, K-9 Hugo is also certified in explosives detection. Learn more about the State Parks K-9 program at parks.ca.gov/K9Program.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., established in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) charity 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. This potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K9 officers is U.S. made, custom fitted, and NIJ certified. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 5,289 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.
The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. K-9s with expired vests are also eligible to participate. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K-9s throughout the United States.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, while a single donation of $985 will sponsor one vest. Each vest has a value of $1800.00, weighs an average of 4-5 lb., and comes with a five-year warranty. 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 donations at www.vik9s.org, or you may mail your contribution to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.
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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.