Oakland Police Department K-9 Roman will become the 100th dog to be presented with a bulletproof vest Saturday at the Pet Food Express store in the city's Rockridge neighborhood as part of the "Cover Your K-9" fundraiser weekend.
All 40 Pet Food Express locations will be holding events this Saturday and Sunday to raise funds for the Cover Your K-9 Fund, which provides bulletproof vests and other safety equipment for police dogs.
The fundraiser, now in its third year, has raised more than $160,000 for the fund in the past two years, said Louise Tully of the Police and Working K-9 Foundation. All of the funds raised have been committed to purchasing vests, trauma kits and heat sensors for canine unit cars. Tully said the foundation was formed to help police departments struggling with budget cutbacks.
" 1/8The dogs 3/8 have to go to work without the tools that they need to keep them safe because many units are just trying to keep their K-9 teams operating, so they don't have the budget for the safety equipment," Tully said.
There are many more police dogs around the Bay Area that remain in need of safety equipment and training right now, Tully said, including K-9 Boyo in San Jose, K-9 Bastion at the San Mateo County Sheriff's Department and K-9 Rogue with the San Francisco County Sheriff's Department.
Police dogs have participated recently in dangerous missions like the search for the Cupertino quarry shooting suspect and a month-long search for a Fort Bragg murder suspect, Tully said.
For more information or to make a donation, go to www.coveryourk9.org or send donations to the Cover Your K-9 Fund, P.O. Box 620629, Woodside CA 94062.