VVA Chapter 157 recently ordered a life-preserving vest for Onyx, the city of Alliance’s police K-9. This is the second time the VVA has donated a garment like this to the department’s K-9 program, the first being for the previous K-9 officer, Zeus. These vests, costing around $1, 100 each, help protect a K-9’s torso with bullet-resistant panels.
Chapter 157 tries to keep all of their donations to causes within the city, and hadn’t done anything for the police department for a while. The chapter determined this gesture to be of particular significance to Vietnam veterans who used dogs during their service.
Vietnam veterans have expressed that sometimes, dogs were like the person in the fox hole next to them. In Vietnam, dogs had a history of rescuing servicemen when entering tunnels in combat.
Beyond being sentimental, this donation was a timely one for citizens of Ohio after a recent police dog casualty.
Nearby, in the city of Canton, K-9 Jethro died after being shot twice. During an attempted burglary, Kelontre Barefield, 22, of Cleveland, assaulted Jethro. Jethro died at an emergency veterinary clinic as a result of the gun wounds.
The chapter recognized that Jethro died while simply doing his job. He wasn’t human, but he was protecting humans. They wanted to make sure that something like that didn’t happen the K-9 in their town as well.
Neighboring police departments with K-9 programs are hoping to robe their dogs in protective vests in the future.