Four police dogs with the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) will now be outfitted with protective armoured vests thanks to a $6,800 grant.
The grant was provided by the Abbotsford Police Foundation (APF) and the Mary Victoria Wakefield Animal Welfare Fund managed by the Abbotsford Community Foundation.
The funds are being used to purchase four lightweight K9 StreetFighter Vests at cost of about $1,700 each.
Police Chief Mike Serr said the estimated cost to breed, purchase, train and maintain a police dog can be more than $80,000, but he said the four-legged members are “highly valuable assets.”
“There are countless examples of police service dogs that have saved lives, located missing kids and tracked to apprehend violent criminals evading arrest,” he said.
Serr said the vests ensure that the dogs can remain active and healthy during their service life.
There are currently four APD dog handlers assigned to the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Service Unit.
The APF is a charitable organization that funds APD programs and projects not covered by its operating budget.
Among its fundraisers is the annual Crime is Toast Breakfast, held in October.
Each year, the APF receives grant applications from police members, and those applications are then approved by Serr and forwarded to the APF for consideration.
Specialized equipment funded in recent years includes a drone and a John Deere “Gator” ATV.