||Wisconsin Vest-A-Dog was started in
2005 and is a non-profit, tax deductible
organization endorsed by the Wisconsin Veterinary
Association. Every donation is used for the
purchase and shipping of vests and other
The goal of the VEST-A-DOG program is to
provide a bullet proof and stab proof vest for
every police dog in Wisconsin. The vests are
the only protection these K-9 officers have
until their human partners arrive on the scene.
OVER A DOZEN DOGS ARE KILLED EACH YEAR
Most were shot or stabbed by the suspects
they were attempting to apprehend. K-9 police
dogs are an important and necessary part of
crime prevention. Every day they carry out
their dangerous work to keep us safe.
They deserve the same level of protection as their human partners. They deserve bullet
proof & stab proof vests too!!
Sadly, many law enforcement agencies and police departments do not have the funds to
purchase body armor that can save the lives of their police dogs. The cost of each vest is
around $850 - $1000 depending on which vest best suits each dog.
THAT'S WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP!
In Wisconsin, we have over 200 canine officers. With your help and
generosity, we can protect them as they courageously serve to
protect us. They put their lives on the line for ours every day. On a
moments notice, and without a second thought, they will give up
their life to save ours.
We have now provided bullet & stab proof vests for every K-9 in the State of Wisconsin.
However, we are continuing to vest dogs as departments are purchasing more and more K-9's.
We will also be continuing to give replacement vests to K-9s as their vests wear out and their
warranty expires. BUT, our job is far from done...so we need you to keep donating and helping
us with fundraisers. And thank you for all you've done! We couldn't have gotten this far without
each and every one of you!!!!!
K-9 officers live with their human partners. They become a part of their family. As special
partners, K-9 officers give their lives so human officers can return home to their families. Sgt.
Brian Reboltz states, “They’re always a working dog, but when you get off work at the end of the
night, it becomes a family friend. We don’t want to lose our friend.”
How Wisconsin VEST-A-DOG started...
When Donna Morgan of Janesville, Wisconsin was
home one Saturday night watching America’s Most
Wanted, she didn’t think that one segment of one
TV show would change her life. But it did.
As she watched the TV, in 2005, she saw a story
about a police dog named Kai. It showed the dog
in training, how he lived with his K-9 handler and
what a nice family dog he was. He was wonderfully
trained and incredibly loyal. Then it cut to the dog
being called to a crime scene. Donna's first
response was to turn the channel. But then she
thought, "this is prime time TV, America's Most
Wanted and they only show re-enactments." Next,
what was being shown was live footage from the
camera on the front of the police squad car. Kai
was given his command to disarm a man with a
gun. She thought, "This has to turn out okay".
But it didn't.
That police dog was shot in the chest by the criminal he was sent to disarm. He did disarm
the criminal before he died.
Donna, along with every police officer on the video was sobbing for this beautiful animal
that gave his life for his human partner and all of the other officers there. If only he had
some kind of protection, like his human partner.
The reason America’s Most Wanted aired that terrible
tape was to show the American Public the very real and
serious need for our K-9 Police Officers to have the
same protection against criminals as our human police
officers. Specifically, police vests that are stab proof as
well as bullet proof.
America’s Most Wanted told the story of Stephanie
Taylor, who founded Vest A Dog in California. And
Donna knew she was about to embark on a new journey
in her life.
In 1999, eleven-year-old Stephanie Taylor read a story
about a New Jersey police dog named “Solo” who was
killed in the line of duty. This story, along with the
knowledge that the Associated Humane Society of New
Jersey had raised money to vest their police dogs, gave her the idea to start VEST-A-DOG,
Inc. Her first dog to be vested would be “Tiko”, the K-9 partner of Oceanside, California
Officer Jim Wall.
At the end of that America's Most Wanted show, there was a phone number to call for
donating to Vest A Dog. Donna called the number and was surprised to learn that Stephanie's
organization was no longer in existence and that no one was working on vesting dogs in
Wisconsin. She also learned that there was no national program to vest our police dogs. She
figured that it couldn't be that hard to get a vest for a dog and probably not that many dogs
needed them, so she’d take on this project herself. She decided to set her goal to vest all the
K-9 officers in the State of Wisconsin. She had no idea how big of a project this was.
Donna has worked endless hours researching the number of police dogs in Wisconsin, what
departments they work for, who their handlers are, as well as doing fund raising to get vests
for these dedicated canines.
Since Christmas 2005, Vest a Dog of Wisconsin has
vested hundreds of dogs, but there is still a need to
vest new dogs that start working every day. A slightly
larger task than Donna anticipated, but still, she’s
worked endlessly. Each vest costs $840.00.
After 2-1/2 years, the official, not-for-profit Vest-A-Dog
of Wisconsin was formed and the 501(c)(3) paperwork
filed in 2007. Thanks to Attorney Bill Vogt of Janesville who, at no charge, completed the
lengthy & tedious process that made it happen.
Thanks also to John Wickem, Dr. Dean Peterson, Connie Bush, Amanda Vogt, Keith Cleasby,
Eva Rudek, Yvette Pearson, Stacy Swanson, Linda Gilbertson, Liz Folts, Julie Roberts, Joan
Sevilla, Kari Klebba and Laurie and Don Hosely for taking on this wonderful and endless job!
Special thanks also to Kevin Guersney for his help with pictures, memorial certificates and
more! This project would not be what it is today without everyone working together!
Fond du Lac Officer Ryan Williams talks about he and K-9
Grendel returning to work, thanks in part to protective vests.
We have proudly provided bullet & stab proof vests many
police dogs all over the State of Wisconsin.