Andover police dog Niko got a special treat prior to the end of the school year. The Hathaway School in Swampscott raised money to buy him a new bullet proof vest.

The school used a non-profit organization called Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. Hathaway School teacher Christie Civitarese helped coordinate the program.

"The school took the initiative and raised the monies. Vested Interest made it possible. We are thankful to have Niko protected," stated Andover Sgt. Chris Moore.

Vested Interest "is a 501c (3) all volunteer charity located in East Taunton whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests for law enforcement dogs throughout the United States. Each vest costs $1006 and has a 5-year warranty," according to its president, Sandy Marcal. "The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four legged K9 Officers. Through private and corporate sponsorships Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided 64 police dogs with protective vests in 2011."

Vested Interest currently has a list of over 20 police dogs needing vests. For more information visit vik9s.org.

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