Million Facebook likes earns Washington City Police K-9 free bulletproof vest

WASHINGTON CITY — Washington City’s next police dog, Tank, became an internet sensation when his picture went viral on social media, hitting 1 million “likes” on Facebook in less than 48 hours.

Vesting America’s Police K-9’s held a campaign for Tank, stating if his picture received 1 million “likes” by the time his training was complete in 2016, Tread Armament and Weaponry would donate a stab and bulletproof vest for him to wear while on-duty.

Tank, Washington City's next police dog, date and location unspecified | Photo courtesy of Havoc K-9, St. George News
Tank, Washington City’s next police dog, date and location unspecified | Photo courtesy of Havoc K-9, St. George News

The picture went viral on June 2, and has been liked on Facebook 1,257,107 times.

“We at Tread Armament are donating Tank’s vest 100 percent,” Nick Whitney, owner of Tread Armament and Weaponry, said.

Dogs like Tank, employed in law enforcement, risk their lives daily, and, the protection equipment they need can place a financial burden on the police department.

However, Tread Armament and Weaponry and Vesting America’s Police K-9’s are working towards assisting police departments to take some of that burden off them.

“From onsite fundraising we are trying to get donations from businesses to go right back into the community and to go right back to the state,” Cathy Williams, Vesting America’s Police K-9’s, said.

K-9 Tank and Vinnie with Ricki Draper, Havoc K-9 Executive Director, Washington County UT |Photo Courtesy of Jessica Tempfer, St. George News
K-9s Tank and Vinnie with Ricki Draper, Havoc K-9 Executive Director, Washington County, Utah, June 28, 2015  | Photo by Jessica Tempfer, St. George News

Havoc K-9, based out of Eden, is training Tank and preparing him for law enforcement life.

The K-9s go through a rigorous four-step training: learning their environment, socialization with people and big crowds, set work and set detection, learning scents and to trust their nose, Ricki Draper, executive director of Havoc K-9, said. They will also learn apprehension, which is learning bite work — working with the sleeve and on a suit.

The K-9s are placed in their puppy-raising homes when they are 8 weeks old and will stay with them for a year, maybe a year and a half depending on the K-9 and when the dog has completed their initial training, Draper said.

Tank is 5 months old and is working on his environmental and socialization work, Draper said. He should be ready to be donated to the Washington City Police Department by mid-2016.

“Tank is one heck of a spitfire of a K-9,” Whitney said. “A lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm; doing really well thus far through the training.”

Washington County Sheriff’s K-9 Officer Vinnie

Vinnie, Tank’s older brother, was donated to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Sunday.

K-9 Deputy of Washington County Sheriff's Office, Darren Richmond and Vinnie, Washington County UT | Photo Courtesy of Jessica Tempfer, St. George News
Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Richmond and Vinnie, Washington County, Utah, June 28, 2015 | Photo by Jessica Tempfer, St. George News

Havoc K-9 donated Vinnie to the Sheriff’s Office and is their third dog ever donated, Draper said.

Vinnie was placed with Deputy Darren Richmond. The Sheriff’s Office said it wanted to get another K-9 program running and Richmond was chosen as Vinnie’s handler.

“It’s a new family member,” Richmond said. “He’ll spend more time with me than my wife and kids because I take him to work with me.”

Vinnie will start Monday working as a K-9 deputy and be geared towards narcotics detection and human tracking – assisting in locating lost persons in the desert or wilderness, Richmond said.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Resources

Related posts

 Email: jtempfer@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

1 Comment

  • sagemoon June 29, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Great program, beautiful dogs. So much work put in by the trainers and officers.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.