The first time Bela tried on his new gear, the fit was a bit tight and uncomfortable, causing him to wiggle a bit.
By GLENN E. RICE
The Kansas City Star
By Friday, the police K-9 finally had gotten used to it and proudly showed off his new bullet-resistant vest to the Parkville woman who sold hot dogs in front of a Northland hardware store to help fund the dog’s lifesaving equipment.
“Oh, look how beautiful he is,” Janet Canseco said as Bela, a 5-year-old Belgian malinois, bounded out of a police patrol car.
Canseco operates a small, family-owned hot dog cart outside the Lowe’s store at the Broadwalk Shopping Center in Kansas City, North. On Fridays and Saturdays from April to August, Canseco sold beef hot dogs, Polish sausage, chips, soda and other items. She donated 100 percent of her tips and a portion of the proceeds to a nonprofit group that purchased the vest and gave it to the Kansas City Police Department.
“These dogs go to work every day to protect their officer and they really deserve a little help from people like us,” Canseco said Friday.
Kansas City police officials said they don’t have the money in their budget to purchase the vests, which cost from $1,600 to $2,400. Canseco said she raised about $700 and contributed it to Vest ’N PDP, a New Mexico-based organization that provides protective vests to police dogs across the country.
Canseco previously has raised money to help buy vests for police dogs in North Carolina and California. This is the first one for a Kansas City K-9.
Bela’s handler, Officer Kenneth Davis, said the vest will help protect Bela from bullets, punches or anything else a person can do to attack the dog.
“It is one of those things where I wear a vest when I go to work, so why shouldn’t he?” Davis said.
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