Local K-9s get help from Karate Academy - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Local K-9s get help from Karate Academy

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Work is underway to help buy bullet proof armor for several K-9 officers in Lucas and Wood Counties. The dogs do a variety of dangerous work for the departments they serve. 13abc's Lissa Guyton spent time with one of the four legged officers that will benefit from the effort.

So what do karate and police K-9 units have in common? An effort is underway at The Black Belt Academy in Perrysburg to help three local police dogs get some extra protection. It's called Kevlar for K-9s. It was the idea of Jon Penny, a part time Lake Township police officer and the head of the Black Belt Academy, "With me being a part time officer the first thing they do is give me a vest to protect me. I noticed that the dogs who are consistently dealing with bad guys have nothing to protect them."

The vests will be for the Lake and Perrysburg Township dogs as well as Gideon, the Rossford Police Department's K-9.  Rossford Chief Glenn Goss is impressed by the effort, "To see people come together, and it's not just dogs lovers, it's pro-community safety too, for the dogs and the officers is nice."

Gideon is the very first K-9 in Rossford. He's been on the job for about two years and officers say there has been a definite increase in drug arrests, "We have an officer with a suspect who they think has drugs and the dog's nose is hundreds of times more sensitive than ours and it can indicate where there are illegal narcotics."

Penny says department's  often don't have extra money for the vests, "K-9 units are specialized units and budgets are already tight, so to find extra money for the specialty units can be very challenging." The vests average about $1,000 each and each dog will get the vest that's best for them, "What we're doing is getting armor that is extremely protective but also light because you want the dogs to be able to be fast when they need to be."

The vests can help protect the dogs from knives and bullets. There's a special Kevlar for K-9s event later this month. It will be at The Black Belt Academy in Perrysburg on Saturday, March 22nd. It will include safety seminars as well as a demonstration by one of the dogs.

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