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This is local to me. Here's the link to the story on the newspaper's site, which has pictures:
http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200770517120

Girl Scout cookies help K9 get a bulletproof vest



By Adam Behsudi
[email protected]
May 18, 2007 12:15 am

WEAVERVILLE — Girl Scout cookies and bulletproof vests might make for an odd fit under any other circumstance.

But for Rocky, the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office patrol dog, the sale of Thin Mints, Caramel deLites and Do-si-dos paid for his new Kevlar vest.
Fifth-graders from Troop 141 sold about $800 worth of the cookies to buy protection for the police pooch.

“My girls, they love animals,” said troop leader Ruth Ann Tensi. “They were looking for a service project to do.”

The 10-year-old Belgian Malinois got a chance to don his new vest Thursday as about a dozen Girl Scouts looked on in the parking lot of the Weaverville United Methodist Church.

Rocky’s handler, Deputy Scott Hawkins, was grateful to have a vest for the dog he’s been working with for eight years.

“We’ve been in several (situations) that could have been bad,” he said. “He’s a pretty big part of my life.”

Rocky is one of three K9s used by the sheriff’s office. As the only patrol dog, which can bring more dangerous work than sniffing for drugs or explosives.

“This is the only working dog we have that will go after the bad guy,” Sheriff Van Duncan said to the group of girls.

Rocky is usually sent in first during situations involving people armed with weapons.

“The dogs are certainly placed in more jeopardy than the officer,” said Lt. Randy Sorrells. “They have a very dangerous role.”
 

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We had a Girl Scout Troop purchase a vest for one of our dogs as well. They aren't cheap. Of course it was a nice new feature, Channel 5, the daily paper etc. Generally vests aren't that useful, however it was a big PR thing so we graciously accepted it, put it on the dog for the TV and the dog got a case of the "growls". Sure he got used to it, but it was funny at the time.

David
 

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I hear from practically every K9 handler I've talked to that they don't like the vests and they won't use them, but typically get 1 of 2 responses... either great PR, or I have heard of cases where they return the vest and ask for the cash :lol:
 

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We received four vests years ago and had a nice write up in the paper. Great PR for the PD and the donor.
We trained with the vests every so often to get the dogs accustomed to them.
Other than training they were never used and just sat in the trunk. The design we had was cumbersome and not very practical.
 

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Used or not used.........what a thoughtful thing for a bunch of little girls to do.
 
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