ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - "We look at these dogs as a part of our team," Melissa Woolly said. "They are an officer to us and so we want them protected - they are a very important part of the team."
Executive Director of Heroes with Hope, Melissa Woolly, says they were able to partner up with American Nation Bank to purchase three vests with police patches for the K9's - each priced a little over a hundred bucks.
"If the dogs got away from the officers that they were identified as police dogs and it also makes it easier on the officers to be able to handle their dogs," Woolly said.
The vests are lightweight and include a reflective patch so the dogs can be seen at night.
They also come with a handle officers can use to control the K9 and a hook to chain a leash too, something that K9 handler Dylan Davis says will help the K9 when they are tracking a scent.
"Instead of having to hook to his collar and if he feels the resistance if I'm pulling, he may pull off of a track and stop tracking so that takes it off his neck and puts it on his back," Davis said. "It'll pull me and allow him to track and find someone."
Davis says the multi purpose K9's already have ballistic vests that protect them from knife stabs and bullets but are heavier and only used in potentially dangerous situations.
"It's great having the ballistics vest on top of that," Davis said. "We can swap them out real quick so it's great to have him protected, he's a police officer just like all of us."
"One hundred percent of what we donate we turn it around give it right back to the community so without them this would not be possible," Woolly said.