As the dog days of summer approach, one member of the Carroll County Sheriff's Office will be sweating them out in a new protective suit thanks to some charitable friends.
Jake, the office's K9 member, received a bullet and stab protective vest Friday, helping him stay safer while his paws hit the streets.
Embroidered with the phrase, "In memory of beloved Amarog," the vest was sponsored by the Downs Family of Anne Arundel County, Md., referring to a character who helps protect a young woman in the book "Julie of the Wolves." The book was a favorite of Suzanne Downs, a retired school teacher, who often read the novel to her classes.
Jake, a two-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, is teamed with Master Deputy Brittany Powell. He was named in honor of Jacob "Jake" Offutt, a Winter's Mill High School student who passed in July of 2015 from aggressive brain cancer.
The vest was made possible thanks to donations from Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., a non-profit organization based in East Taunton, Mass. whose goal is to provide such protective gear to dogs used in law enforcement and similar agencies throughout the country.
Since its founding in 2009, the group has provided 2,800 protective vests across 50 states, funded by corporate or private donations to the tune of $2.4 million. The vests weigh 4 to 5 lbs. and are valued at roughly $2,000 a piece.
Vested Interest estimates roughly 30,000 dogs are involved in law enforcement roles throughout the country.