Humane Society purchases bulletproof vests for sheriff’s K-9s (WITH GALLERY)

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 7, 2023

COAL GROVE — This week, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office got a little extra protection for two special officers in their ranks.

Dexter and Archie, the K-9 officers for the department were the recipients of bulletproof vests, purchased by the Lawrence County Humane Society.

On Thursday, Brent and Lou Pyles, with the Humane Society, were on hand, along with Sheriff Jeff Lawless, at the Lawrence County Join Response Operations Center in Coal Grove, where the vests were formally presented.

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Brent Pyles said they were purchased through donations to the Humane Society and were fitted for Level 3 ballistics.

“I’m told they can stop a .44 magnum,” he said.

Pyles said that the vests were fitted specifically for the two dogs, one of which is used for drug detection, while the other is a duel purpose dog for drugs and apprehension of suspects.

He said the manufacturer takes into account the dogs’ measurement, age and weight.

He noted that they add extra breast protection, which is the most likely target if a suspect were to shoot at a dog.

Lawless said all of this had “a big effort behind the scenes” and he noted that the Humane Society wanted to find an American manufacturer, which they did with Ray Allen Manufacturing, of Colorado Springs.

Pyles said Dexter and Archie deserved the protection.

“Because they truly are officers,” Pyles said.

Lawless noted the importance of the dogs to the department.

“We are extremely grateful for this extra layer of protection for these animals,” he said. “They need to be protected. We are extremely grateful to the Lawrence County Humane Society, and especially to Lou and Brent.”