On Tuesday, July 31, Orange K9s Loki (tracking and patrol) and Trent (drug sniffing) each received a piece of life-saving equipment thanks to generous donations from two great community groups — The Orange Lions Club and the Orange Juniorettes girls club.
The dogs were presented with brand new custom fit bullet-proof and stab resistant vests, constructed with the same material that their human partners’ vests are made of.
The Lions, represented by former president Nick Bencivengo, raise money through various events and give back to the community through grants and volunteerism.
The Juniorettes is a group of young ladies who perform community beautification projects and help the town in other ways. The girls hosted fundraisers, such as a dinner at Bertucci’s over the past year to raise money for a K-9 vest, which has a $1,000 price tag.
Loki’s handler, Officer Chris Brown and Trent’s partner, Officer Mary Bernegger measured their dogs’ necks, body length, girth, etc, so the vests could be tailor fit for each dog. They submitted the measurements to Assistant Chief Max Martins and the vests were ordered.
The vests arrived at the Orange Police Department this week, and the donors were invited to attend the presentation on Tuesday.
Bencivengo and the Juniorettes got a close up look at the vests they’d donated and seemed quite impressed with the quality of the items.
German Shepherd Loki looks very manly in his army green vest and Trent, a black Lab, looks quite sophisticated in his black vest.
Officer Bernegger thanked everyone for their hard work and the donations, saying she was happy that Trent now had the vest which could keep him safe.
Officer Brown said having the vest for Loki offers peace of mind while they’re working. “It’s nice to have it. If we don’t need it – perfect, but it’s nice to know it’s there in the car if he needs it for a situation,” he said. “It’s important to have, especially for a team like us doing criminal apprehensions. It’s good peace of mind because I wear one, and I feel that my partner should be able to wear one and luckily they were able to raise the funds to purchase them.”