Bulletproof vests donated to Nassau County K-9 first responders

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Four-legged first responders in Nassau County received life-saving vests on Thursday night, thanks to the community that cares for its K-9s.

The vests were provided by the Fernandina Beach chapter of the Amelia Masonic Lodge. The Order of the Eastern Star helped raise $5,000 to help protect K-9 first responders after hearing about a K-9 wounded while on duty.

“We wanted to do something to protect our officers because a dog is an officer as well,” said Kim Grubbs.

So the lodge appealed to the community -- with a garage sale. The money raised bought five bulletproof vests for the county’s K-9 officers.

Nassau County has nine K-9 units, but the five who got the vets are those in patrol units.

“We focused on getting the five patrol dogs, those are the ones that would be put into any kind of dangerous situation, with the bulletproof vests,” explained Debbie Johnson with K9s United.

The vests will help prevent what happened to K-9 Chaos last year, who was shot chasing down the man accused of shooting and killing Nassau County Deputy Joshua Moyers.

Non-profit K9s United sponsored a recent training session of dozens of officers to save the lives of K-9s when wounded.

“We couldn’t fulfill our mission without the community’s support,” Johnson said.

K9s United is now coordinating training with Florida Highway Patrol K-9 units throughout the state and is raising money for more training sessions so that everyone in the line of duty can be prepared to treat a seriously injured K9 when needed.

LINK: https://www.k9sunited.org/

About the Author:

At WJXT for a quarter of a century, Mary Baer anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news weekdays.