Animal lovers just like you—who can't bear the thought of working K9s being put in harm's way without necessary protection—donate to our cause.
Working K9s are highly trained, skilled professionals. And, like all dogs, they offer unconditional loyalty and love. Exhibiting ultimate bravery in the line of duty, working K9s also never hold grudges and never ask for rewards.
No. We provide vests to any dog in danger that needs one–whether that dog works for the military, homeland security or a law enforcement agency.
Typically, both local and federal agencies that utilize K9s don't have the funds to provide Kevlar vests for their canine personnel. That's where Kevlar for K9s comes in—and why your support is so crucial.
At any given time around the globe, approximately 300 to 350 dogs work to ensure the safety of our troops. The Department of Defense employs approximately 2,300 dogs total. This includes dogs in retirement that only do training for other K9s at military bases, but does not include dogs working in the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, including explosives), and Homeland Security (including dogs used by the Transportation Safety Administration.) There are currently thousands of K9s working in various law enforcement agencies throughout the country, and over 400 dogs employed by the Transportation Safety Administration.
They save lives. Working K9s are asked to perform tasks that humans are unable to do. Working alongside a dedicated handler, these dogs carry messages under fire, detect enemy or criminal presence at a far greater distance than a human could sense, and discover casualties that have been overlooked. These brave dogs take on a variety of jobs, such as:
- Scout or Patrol Dogs – trained to work in silence, these dogs detect snipers, ambushes and other enemy forces.
- Tracker Dogs – track either visually or by following ground or airborne scents to locate downed pilots, wounded personnel or the enemy.
- Sentry Dogs – form the first line of defense by walking along the outskirts of a location and giving warning by growling, alerting or barking.
- Explosive Detection Dogs – detect mines, booby traps, trip wires and other casualty-producing devices; they also help search suspected areas for enemy supplies, weapons and ammunition.
No. Each dog works closely with a handler, who becomes the dog's devoted partner. Handlers develop long-term relationships with their dogs and might work with the same dog throughout its lifetime. By providing vests that protect working dogs from harm, Kevlar for K9s is giving handlers a tool to protect their brave canine partners and prolong their lives.
The U.S. Military has used military working dogs since WWII. By 1945, the Army Quartermaster Corps and had trained almost 10,00 war dogs for the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Since WWI, dogs have saved countless lives, serving the armed forces with distinction in the Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm and now in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The dogs begin with a rigorous training schedule that lasts approximately 1 year, during which the dogs train 5 to 6 days per week, 6 to 8 hours per day. Their training doesn't stop there, however. To maintain the levels of trust and accuracy they must exhibit at all times, the dogs will continuously train 5 days a week throughout their careers.
There are nine different types of explosives the dogs are currently trained to smell, although the names of these chemicals are classified. Dogs are also trained to remember and identify chemicals that are used to camouflage these explosives.
Because the theater of war is always evolving, the list of chemicals is constantly changing—with new items being added as they are identified.
The U.S. Military chooses high-energy, high-itelligence German Shepherd and/or Belgian Malinois puppies and adult dogs from pure European bloodlines.
If the dog avoids injury or death on the job, it can expect to live for approximately 10 years—possibly longer, if put into retirement or adopted by a suitable individual or family.
Yes. Every U.S. soldier and law enforcement officer sent into combat or active duty wears a Kevlar protective vest. That’s because vests are proven to prolong the life expectancy of these men and women. The same rule should apply to dogs.
The main danger for K9s working with law enforcement is bullets and knives—and a Level III vest will protect the K9 from bullet and knife penetration. For military dogs, bullets, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and shrapnel from these bombs (flying pieces of metal, rock, glass, screws, nails or other objects) represent the main threats, just as they do for the dog's handlers. Kevlar vests protect vital organs from all of these threats.
Made of layers of fiber, body armor works by absorbing and dispersing the energy of impact across a generalized area. This helps to reduced the effects of blunt trauma.
They love their jobs and have fun doing them. Working K9s are highly trained, with valuable, specialized skills—and they seem to know this makes them unique. Military dogs each have their own rank, serial number and badge. And law enforcement K9s live with and become best friends with their handlers.