WARREN, NJ - The Warren Township Police Department’s K9 Onyx will be receiving a ballistic vest thanks to a nationwide groupon event.
 
Onyx is a 2 year old German Shepherd, and is Warren Township's first Police K9.  He was purchased by the Warren Twp. Honorary P.B.A. from Birkenhof Kennels of Derby, Connecticut and became a member of the Warren Twp. Police Department in August 2013.
 
 
Onyx is assigned to Officer Bryan Horst who has been employed with the Warren Twp. Police Department since 2003 and is the department’s first K9 handler. Shortly after receiving Onyx, he began attending the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office K9 Academy Patrol School from September 2013 to January 2014, and Bergen County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics School from February 2014 to April 2014, completing over 1,080 hours of training.
 
The “Occasions ” campaign, for Groupon Grassroots to outfit police K9’s with bullet and stab protective vests, ran February 15 through March 5,  2014.  Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. was the nationwide non-profit organization and charity partner selected by Groupon Grassroots to participate. The online $10 donation suggested interested persons purchase a GROUPON (a tax deductible donation) through the secure website where all funds were allocated to purchase ballistic vests for the four-legged crime fighters who put their lives on the line for the community and their partner.    

 
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. will be providing over 350 law enforcement dogs nationwide with the protective body armor in memory of K9 Rocco of the Pittsburgh Police Department who sacrificed his life in the line of duty in January of 2014.
 
All vests will be embroidered with the sentiment, "In Memory of K9 Rocco, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police."
 
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA. 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. Each vest costs $950.00 and has a 5 year warranty. 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 over 1125 law enforcement dogs in 40 states with protective vests since 2009. The organization orders the U.S. made vests exclusively from distributor Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, MA. Who also does the custom embroidery on the body armor.  
 
 
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. calendar is on sale now through Feb. 1, 2015 for $15.00 online at www.vik9s.org .  Proceeds from the sales will provide bullet and stab protective vests and all goods and services for the calendar were donated by generous sponsors, photographers and participating law enforcement agencies, for police dogs actively working without the potentially lifesaving equipment.   
 
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc, a 501c (3) organization, is still accepting donations through their website: www.vik9s.org and via mail P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718. 
 
In 2013, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. partnered with Groupon and was named as one of “The Best of 2013” campaigns. The non-profit raised $155, 537.33 in just one week, which provided ballistic vests for 163 law enforcement dogs in 30 states.  There are an estimated 30,000 police dogs throughout the United States.
 
 
New K9 graduates as well as K9's with expired vests are eligible to participate. The program is open to law enforcement dogs who are US employed, certified and at least 19 months of age. 
 
For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Tax deductible donations and event listings are via the website: www.vik9s.org.