FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Roseann Trezza, Executive Director
September 26, 2006
MOUNT HOLLY K-9 RECEIVES LIFE-PROTECTING DONATION
MOUNT HOLLY, NJ Ė On first look, Patton, a Golden Retriever, looks like a sweet, easygoing house pet. Donít let looks deceive. Patton is a trained police dog.
With his partner, Police Officer Kara McIntosh, patrols Mount Holly, ready at a momentís notice to sacrifice his safety for the sake of others. Patton protects. Patton serves.
Thanks to a generous donation to the Associated Humane Societiesí Vested Interest program from Jacqueline Mock of Kunkletown, Pa., Patton now wears a bullet- and knife-proof vest while on patrol. And Officer McIntosh can now work with the confidence that her partner is protected.
Some 950 police dogs in New Jersey and another 150 around the nation have received protection through the AHS Vested Interest program. The program began in 1998, after the fatal shooting of a Monmouth County Sheriff Departmentís K-9, named Solo. The ultimate goal of Vested Interest is to provide a vest for every police dog that graduates the academy.
Unfortunately, the dramatic cost increase for the vests, coupled with a decline in donations to the program is making this goal much more challenging.
`We continue to receive requests as new K-9s graduate the police academy or if a new dog is added to a unit. But we can only continue on if the generous donations like the one made by Ms. Mock continue,' said Roseann Trezza, Executive Director of Associated Humane Societies. `These dedicated public servants protect our health and safety everyday. We owe it to them to see that they are protected as well.'
A majority of the support for the program comes from school groups, civic groups and private citizens. Oftentimes, local K-9 Unit handlers will give demonstrations at meetings or school assemblies in partnership with Vested Interest fundraising activities. Organizations are encouraged to learn more about Vested Interest by contacting program coordinator Debbie Beyfuss via e-mail or by phone at 973-824-7080.
For photo and additonal story, please see our related article.