Arizona K-9 featured in national calendar as 6 MCSO dogs get body armor

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Kato is the April calendar K-9 for the Vest Interest for K-9s 2018 calendar. (Source: Sergeant Calbert Gillett, MCSO) Kato is the April calendar K-9 for the Vest Interest for K-9s 2018 calendar. (Source: Sergeant Calbert Gillett, MCSO)
(Source: Vested Interest in K9s via www.vik9s.org) (Source: Vested Interest in K9s via www.vik9s.org)
Six MCSO K-9 just received body armor designed just for them. Top: Osa, Bach and Karl. Bottom: Ryker, Bull and Hero (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Six MCSO K-9 just received body armor designed just for them. Top: Osa, Bach and Karl. Bottom: Ryker, Bull and Hero (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

 An Arizona K-9 is one of the stars of a calendar dedicated to dogs working in law enforcement.

Kato is a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois who has been with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for three years.

Partnered with Deputy Charles Moreland, Kato is certified in patrol duties and narcotics detection.

Nearly two years ago, Kato and four of his K-9 colleagues received ballistic and stab protective vests to keep them as safe as possible while they’re on the job.

[RELATED: Maricopa County K9s get new coats of armor]

Just this month, six more K-9s -- Osa, Bach, Karl, Ryker, Bull and Hero -- received vests of their own.

That gear, which is custom-fitted for each dog, came from Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., a 501c(3) national nonprofit that has donated more than 2,700 such protective vests to law enforcement K9s in all 50 states.

Each vest, which weighs between 4 and 5 pounds, has a value of between $1,795 and $2,234 and a five-year warranty.

Kato happily modeled his body armor as Vested Interest’s calendar dog for April.

The Vested Interest 2018 calendars are $15 plus shipping on vik9s.org. You also can call 508-824-6978 to order.

Proceeds from the calendar will be used to provide equipment and services for Kato and the MCSO K-9 team, as well as the estimated 30,000 K-9s throughout the country.

In addition to supporting the organization through its calendar fundraiser, you also can sponsor a vest for a specific K-9. That donation is $975. 

While Karl, Ryker, Bach, Hero, and Osa’s vests were sponsored by anonymous donors, Bull's was sponsored by Petra Keller of Washoe Valley, NV. His will be embroidered, "In honor of Sadie Keller."

Karl's vest will carry the sentiment, "In memory of Johanne L. Walker." Ryker, Bach, Hero and Osa's vests will be embroidered "In memory of K9 Ty, California City Police Department."


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