K9s to be outfitted with bulletproof vests - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

K9s to be outfitted with bulletproof vests

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SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) -  Smith County Sheriff's Office K9s will soon be  protected with bullet-proof vests, thanks to a nationwide Groupon event.

Vested Interest, a non-profit charity, managed to raise more than $155,000 with help from the popular coupon site. 

There are about 30,000 law enforcement dogs across the United States. Only 136 dogs were selected to receive vests through this grant.

Smith County Sheriff's Office K9s are says Lanny and Endy are two of them.

"They're highly trained dogs. We have a lot of time invested in them. And, we believe they deserve the same protection we get."
Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith says Lanny and Endy have been  a major asset to the team in fighting crime.

"It's been a huge help. They're very active. Both deputies are very active with their K9s."

Sheriff Smith says he was already in the process of ordering vests for the dogs when one of his K9 officers located this grant. Sheriff smith says it's going to save him close to $2,000.

"We're still having to replace and order vests for our deputies. So, it is pretty much- when you're under a budget crunch, it's difficult, but it's very important to make sure that the canines are protected."
Smith County Sheriff's Office K9s are drug dogs, patrol dogs and also used for tracking.

"So, when they're tracking a potential felon or something through the woods who may be armed with a knife or a gun, they need to be protected just as the deputies are."
Sheriff Smith says Lanny and Endy will be protected from most bullet and stab wounds.

The vests are expected to arrive in about three and a half months.



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