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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Vested Interest in K9s Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: Vested interest in k-9s, inc. Is a 501c(3) non-profit fundraising organization dedicated to providing state of the art bullet and stab protective vests, made in the United States of America, and other assistance, to K9s of law enforcement throughout the country.

Results: In December of 2018, K9 Gabo of Jonesboro, AR Police Department was shot multiple times and saved as a result of a vest donated by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. Article and video. Copy and paste the link to view: http://www.kait8.com/2018/12/20/k-officers-story-sparks-support-across-country/

Target demographics: outfit law enforcement dogs with ballistic vests

Geographic areas served: the United States

Programs: In relation to the mission Vested Interest in K9s, inc. had donated over 3200 K9 ballistic vests, 800 K9 opioid reversal Narcan Kits, almost $50,000 of K9 medical insurance premiums, over $14,000 in medial first aid kits and 1 Chevy Tahoe custom fitted for a K9 Unit with the funds raised through contributions, grants and fundraising events.

Community Stories

37 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Chantelle C.

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm a recipient of a vest and also a donor of a vest as well. In lieu of table favors for my wedding, I donated a vest in honor of Sgt. Collin Rose, who was a very good friend of mine and K-9 training partner. Very smooth process and Sandy was informative every step of the way, even letting me know where my donated vest was headed. She is a wonderful woman who truly cares about the welfare of our police dogs.

Shawna H.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering for this organization! Seeing the dogs receive their vests in the final photo is rewarding, and every now and then I see one in my own state... can’t say enough about our mission and how great everyone is!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Like many other volunteers, I started my affiliation as a donor. I thought, “What a wonderful charity that serves law enforcement and protects their beautiful K9 partners.” However, my first attempt at donating a vest hit a glitch because of the intended recipient. This organization is 100% transparent. Their rules and regulations are strictly enforced and there are no exceptions. Because the officer was not able to initially comply with the application process, my donation became somewhat stalled. Sandy was on the phone immediately to assure me that my gift would be used as intended as soon as all the i’s were dotted and all the t’s were crossed. We had quite a few conversations about Vested Interest in K9’s, Inc., mainly how it came to be and her strictly aboveboard business model. To make a long story short, my first dog became vested and somehow in 2015 I became a volunteer. I still try to donate a vest every year to these wonderful dogs. Working directly with their handlers has proven to me time and again their love and devotion to their K9 partners. The gift of protection is made possible by Sandy and all the volunteers. It’s an admirable organization of which I’m proud to be a member. This is a picture of the dog who received my first donated vest. I inscribed it in honor of my dear mother-in-law who loved animals as much as I do. She had a framed picture of this handsome boy in her living room until the very end.

2 Greg L.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an amazing non-profit group! I have had the pleasure of Volunteering with this organization over the past and help protect K9’s in our area. It has been an awesome adventure meeting so many teams who serve our community. Heroes they are! Keep up the great work!

3 Adam G.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a K9 Handler for a police agency I was doing ballistic vest research for my K9 partner. I discovered Vested Interest in K9’s and spoke with them extensively about their design and development of their newest vest. It was apparent they knew K9’s and what a police K9 needed in a ballistic vest not only to protect them, but to also still have the mobility to do the job. The design of the vest is awesome and the volunteers at the organization all the way to the top are amazing! I can not thank them enough for all that they do.

4 Justin G.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Shortly after receiving my partner, K9 Fazzo, I began researching vests for him. After extensive research I came across Vested Interest in K9's. I filled out the application and within no time, I received a call from Sandy Marcal who was extremely helpful through the entire process. I had a local group that wished to sponsor the vest and the order was placed. The vest K9 Fazzo received was beyond my expectations and was custom to him. Since receiving the vest Sandy Marcal has even went out of her way to personally donate Buddy Bag medical kits to both of our office K9 Units. Sandy's passion to ensure K9's across the United States have the gift of protection is amazing! I even had the privilege to participate in Vested Interest in K9's first SUV giveaway contest, and won a brand new Chevy Tahoe for K9 Patrol!! I mean who does that?? Words alone can not express how grateful I am for Vested Interest in K9's!

3 Marvin C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our dealings with this organization has been outstanding. We have donated as well as now a recipient of a K9 vest for K9 Quannah. Their donation process is smooth and easy. Going through the application process I see first hand that each candidate is well vetted by a professional group of hard working volunteers. That said they were extremely helpful throughout the entire process. The monies raised are used wisely so you won't have to worry where your money goes. They reached out to us during the loss of our K9 Josey and honored her with vest embroidered with her name and end of watch date. We were truly humbled by their compassion and shows the true heart that this organizations puts into K9's around the country. The vest we received for K9 Quannah was well made and sized well. He quickly adapted to it and was fully functional during training exercises. His vest also is embroidered In K9 Josey's honor. We can not say enough about the fine work this organization does to protect and honor our nations K9 Heroes.

4 Keith27

Client Served

Rating: 5

I 1st learned of Vested Interest in K9 when I began working my patrol dog Oxx. As I trained him in different aspects of patrol, I said to myself why would I send my partner into a situation without the proper equipment. I learned about Vested Interest in K9 & found out how easy it was to apply for a vest. I applied and shortly after received word that my partner was going to receive a vest. The requirements to complete the contract were simple. Sandy Marcal was a pleasure to work with. This non profit's goal is to equip every law enforcement K9 across the United States with the protective gear they have earned. I will be forever grateful for Vested Interest in K9's. Believe me you cannot / will not go wrong with this organization. Beware of copy cat organizations out there. Your partner deserves the best there is and the best is Vested Interest in K9's.

Previous Stories
5

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a handler, I couldn't imagine sending my partner into a lethal situation without the same protection afforded to me. Vested Interest in K9's has now afforded my partner a bullet proof vest to protect him against harm. With today's economy, most departments could not afford to provide this type of protection to their 4 legged crime fighters. Through nationwide fund raising events , Vested Interest in K9's has outfitted numerous K9's nationwide making your 4 legged crime fighters more effective. Vested Interest in K9's is not just an organization, they are family...
Keith Sanders
Montrose Colorado

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have see firsthand the benefits of Vested Interest in K9s Inc. Several vests have been distributed by them to protect working police dogs in my community. I came to volunteer for the organization by contributing photography for their calendar fundraiser and have met the K-9 handlers and the dogs that wear protective vests donated through this organization. Vested Interest in K9s Inc. also assisted in a fundraiser to provide medical kits for dogs that already had vests. They are working tirelessly to protect the dogs, and it is clear from my interactions with the staff that they are dedicated dog lovers who really want to help.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I just learned about this organization last year. I had no idea that police dogs don't automatically get protective gear like human officers! There are many organizations that SAY they donate vests to K9s but all I see on their website is asks for donations. I don't see any PROOF that they are donating anything. If you look at Vested Interest in K9s website and social media, you will see almost every day a news story about another K9 getting a vest or other protective gear, a fully outfitted SUV for the K9 unit or healthcare coverage from this organization - FOR FREE. THEY DO WHAT THEY SAY THEY WILL DO. They protect dogs of law enforcement in so many ways. I highly recommend donating to this organization.

3 Leena L.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

They have donated more than 3000 vests to working K9s throughout the United States at absolutely NO COST to the department or handler. Vested Interest vested the entire OKC K9 unit after the tragic murder of K9 Kye. People are unaware of some of tge tremendous bureaucratic problems and obstacles encountered when trying To vest these K9s, but there are tremendous hurdles. I know first hand that a delay always. has to do with this issue and when all that matters is that the K9s life is protected the public may never know. This charity is directly responsible for the survival of K9 Gabo after being shot. His vest saved his life. They have also donated first aid kits and a fully equipped Tahoe. They save lives and you can too, by donating to save K9 heroes.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became a volunteer in Feb 2018. This is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Vested Interest in K9’s, Inc. and Sandy do so much for law enforcement all over this country. We also decided as a group at work to sponsor a vest last year, and will make this our yearly Holiday charity.

Tom F.1

Donor

Rating: 1

Our experience with vested interest in K9s has been pitiful.

We had a local K9 killed in action via gunfire. All my wife and I wanted was to donate a protective vest in memory of that particular canine. We wrote a check, made an embroidery request, and figured it would get done. It should have been simple.

For unknown reasons, this org has not fulfilled our request. Multiple attempts to contact them lead to nowhere. It is a different volunteer who calls or emails back every time. They do not staff a phone.

Our check for $950 cleared the bank long ago. We received an email thanking us for a donation made by some veterinarian hospital we never heard of. I wrote back asking for a correct receipt and to know what department received our donation.

To date - that has not happened.

Looks to me like they accepted our money and used it in some other way.. “shameful” would be a generous description of them.

Tom and Gayle Flynn, Walled Lake, MI

Comments ( 1 )

profile

info 01/28/2019

We thank Mr. & Mrs. Flynn for their sponsorship of a K9 vest. Our nonprofit has donated 3,200 K9 ballistic vests,800 K9 Narcan Kits,$50,000 in K9 medical insurance,$14,000 in first aid kits & 1 Chevy Tahoe oufitted for a K9.This work is accomplished with 1 full time & 2 part-time employees & 85 volunteers nationwide.They work on agency outreach,application admin. for all programs,donor & sponsor relations,managing the fulfillment of vests & other program-related products/services. The sponsor form filled out by Tom was not complete & could not be processed.Our team wanted to ensure Tom’s wishes were carried out & went over & above to assist via multiple phone calls,emails & a mailed letter with instructions. Vests are custom made & take approx. 8 wks. for delivery post order placement. On 12/31/18 the vest was earmarked for K9 Xyrem of Belmont Cty. Sheriff’s Ofc,OH & announcement publicly posted by the dept. We are saddened by this review & invite the Flynn’s to call us to discuss.

7

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization is phenomenal. Sandy Marcal (Founder) is amazing. She makes donating to this cause both emotional and inspiring. The dogs this organization protects are truly vital to our officers and the communities they protect. The sponsor form is easy to complete and you are able to choose the department you want the funds to be directed to. Additionally they will embroider a sentiment of your choice allowing you to dedicate the vest to a loved one etc. We simply can not say enough about the awesome Facebook page....Vested Interest in K9's you are amazing... Keep up the good work....

Review from Guidestar

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great people that are dedicated, professional, caring and passionate about protecting K-9's. Love the Facebook interaction and seeing our donations get put to good use. Keep up the good work !

Dakota Slomowicz

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first became aware of Vested Interest in K9s in 2013 via a face book feed. Typically you like a page and move on, but then I started reading the stories of these K9s and how important they are not only to the officers that handle them but to the communities they serve. After reading a few posts I found myself doing the following 2 things…

1) Smiling at how awesome these four legged officers are and how happy they are to do what they do.
2) Infuriated that these K9s are not afforded the same benefit of protection as any human officer.

My initial reaction was- this need’s to change and I need to do something. I became aware of what we ask these dogs to do after my own professional involvement with the Federal Bomb Squad and numerous police agencies. I also knew the expense involved in purchasing and maintaining these K9’s.

This led me to visit the website and submit my volunteer paperwork. During this same week I happened to be watching ABC world news when suddenly appears Diane Sawyer talking about one woman in MA that was making it her mission to provide ballistic vest’s to K9 units across the county. What I saw while watching this episode was a special person that has a passion for these K9's and the Police Departments, that is so contagious it implores you to take action. I was genuinely inspired, excited, and motivated to help in any way I could.

Within several days the call came that said welcome aboard & fasten your seat belt you are in for wild ride. Just when I thought I couldn’t be more inspired- I was wrong. Working with this phenomenal group of people has changed my life in ways that no amount of words can ever describe. There is no organization like it anywhere. You will not find a more dedicated group of people that are filled with compassion like the members of this organization.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As with many others, my first exposure to Vested Interest was through Facebook. I was shocked to learn that protective vests weren't standard issue for K9s in law enforcement. As I followed VIK9s, I became more interested in volunteering! I contacted Sandy and I was hooked! Her enthusiasm is contagious! I initially helped to promote a Groupon fundraiser which was fabulously successful and when Sandy invited me to a vesting ceremony where 8 dogs were 'vested', I had already decided to vest a dog myself..... I now feel a personal connection to "my" K9 and his Handler! I have since moved to a new state and am excited to help recruit new K9s to be vested! Sandy Marcal and Vested Interest are true heroes in my book!

5 Michelle194

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned of Vested Interest in K9s through Facebook. It began with a Groupon fundraiser that I donated to. Then I purchased a calendar to further support this fabulous on going cause to vest our K9s. I finally had the honor of meeting Sandy Marcel with the vesting of the 8 dogs in Manchester. One from Freedom NH. What an emotional experience. To know I helped out. As time has gone on and seeing all the good this group does to help protect our 4 legged officers every day. I recently have volunteered to help out in this wonderful process and am looking forward to continuing this with many wonderful people who have the same goal!! Protecting and vesting our K9s!!

10 David191

Donor

Rating: 5

As a K9 Handler I couldn’t imagine sending my partner in a dangerous situation without the same protection afforded to me. Now going on four years we worked without one and there have been many close calls and I’m thankful we made it out okay. Diego is not only my partner he is my best friend and I could not have asked for a better partner than him. So I made a promise to find a vest for Diego. When I found Vested Interest In K9s Inc on Facebook I immediately contacted the President Sandy Marcal about getting a vest for my partner. She was great and very helpful from the very beginning. Her dedication for law enforcement teams is never ending. Thank you Vested Interest In K9s for your dedication and outfitting numerous K9’s nationwide.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first learned of Vested Interest in K9s by seeing a post on Facebook. What a wonderful thing to raise funds for! K9 Ape was shot and killed by a mass murderer not too far from our home. The K9s that protect our own communities are often not protected from criminals because the vests are so expensive and many departments just can't afford them without donations. As a small private breeder of the leading working dog breed, German Shepherds, we understand the importance of raising awareness of this need and totally support it. We are currently doing our own fundraiser with profits going to this organization. That's how much it means to us!