Joni Fitzpatrick, founder of K9 Freekz Rescue, talks about working with the FBI to rescue six dogs.

The Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office is seeking protection for man’s best friend.

Keeping K-9s in Kevlar is collecting money to outfit one of the sheriff’s office’s dogs with a Kevlar vest.

“The police dogs can be stabbed, shot at and injured severely,” Keeping K-9s in Kevlar founder Kendra Cook said.

“The vest protects against that,” she said.

The program is looking to outfit an Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office dog named Shelby. The bloodhound does tracking for the department when officers are trying to find missing people or catch dangerous rape or murder suspects.

“The idea of having that vest is just that extra layer,” Cook said. The protection will assist Shelby when “she’s helping catch criminals and when they don’t want to be caught, and they’ll do anything to not get caught,” she said.

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A dog vest can run anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000.

“For K9 Shelby, what we’re doing, we will continue fundraising for her until she’s completely funded – 100% of the donations go directly towards her,” Cook said.

“We’ve had community support come in through PayPal, and we also have a donor who has contacted us and she stated that she’s doing $300 and a check for her,” Cook said.

Keeping K-9s in Kevlar raises community funds through PayPal at on Facebook at

K9 Shelby will receive 100% of donations to fund her vest. Donation updates will occur on each social media post and will announce the moment K9 Shelby is funded. If donations continue after the announcement the campaign ended, funds will roll over to the next K9 in need of assistance.

Checks can be sent to: Keeping K-9s in Kevlar, 3901 Airport Way, Bellingham, WA 98226

Terry Benjamin II, a Claflin University mass communications senior, is reporting for The Times and Democrat as a Lee Enterprises-sponsored news-sports intern.

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