North Huntingdon K-9s get new vests |

North Huntingdon K-9s get new vests

Joe Napsha
Sgt. Kari Bauer (left) with K-9 Zargo and Officer Justin Wardman, with K-9 Rocco, wearing their new vests.

Two North Huntingdon K-9 officers have received body armor that is bullet- and stab-resistant, thanks to a Massachusetts organization.

K-9 Zargo, a German shepherd whose handler is Sgt. Kari Bauer, and K-9 Rocco, a Belgian malinois whose handler is Officer Justin Wardman, recently received the vests from Vested Interest in K9s Inc., a nonprofit based in East Tauton. North Huntingdon’s last three K-9s received their vests through Vested Interest, Bauer said.

The zippered vests, which carry a five-year warranty, weigh about four pounds and are custom made for the dog, Bauer said. The new vests are more flexible than previous ones.

The vest for K-9 Zargo was sponsored by the German Shepherd Club of Western Pennsylvania and is embroidered with the words, “Gifted by the GSD Club of W. Pa. in memory of K9 Vegas.” Vegas was Bauer’s K9, who died of natural causes in May 2017. Bauer acquired and trained with K-9 Zargo last year.

Donna and John Brenzia of North Huntingdon sponsored the vest for K-9 Rocco. That vest is embroidered with the phrase, “In Memory of Vegas.”

The township has a third K-9 officer, Nero, whose handler is Officer Jeremy Nichols.

The vests are placed on the K-9 when they are seeking or chasing a suspect, Wardman said.

“Whenever they’re tracking a bad guy, it (the vest) is going on the dog,” Wardman said.

Since Vested Interest was founded in 2009, it has provided more than 3,100 potentially life-saving body armor for K-9s throughout the nation. It has been able to provide the vests through private and corporate donations at a cost of more than $5.7 million. A $950 donation to Vested Interest can provide one vest with a value of $1,744 to $2,280, the organization said.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252 or [email protected]

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.