South Florida

Miramar K-9 Officers Receive New Bulletproof Vests

Miramar Police dogs were treated with some new protective gear Wednesday. The K-9 officers are putting their best paw forward with a whole new wardrobe: bulletproof vests.

"It's important that we protect them because they don't know when they're going into danger, they just know they're going to work and doing what they're trained to do and if it's a dangerous situation, the dog should be protected just as much as any human should," said Sgt. Anthony Pacetti with Miramar Police.

Six dogs with the Miramar Police Department K-9 Unit got the safety gear, thanks to Protect the Paws, a K-9 Cause.

"The canines are a huge commitment to our community. They are vital for crime prevention and we just can't do it without them," said Kathleen Holmes and Ruthie Cusick with Protect the Paws.

The nonprofit raises funds to donate bulletproof vests to South Florida canine units. Since 2011, they've produced over 60 custom-fit vests for more than 16 local police departments.

"They're our officers as well and they deserve the same protection," Holmes and Cusick said.

It's protection needed for their risky job. Many of the canines deal with narcotics and explosive detection, finding missing persons and more.

Their handlers say these dogs are like family to them and they're extremely grateful to see them wearing this life-saving protection.

"They're our loved ones. I treat him just like I would my children, my sons. He will lay down his life for me and I would do the same for him," said Troy Montgomery with Miramar Police.

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