AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine Department of Corrections announces four legged officer TJ to receive bullet and stab protective vest.

K9 TJ, a Belgian Malinois, will be receiving a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to the efforts of Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., a Massachusetts based nonprofit organization. A donation made to the organization by Economy Motors of Hermon, ME will cover the cost of the ballistic vest for the Maine Department of Corrections K9.

Corporal Richard "Rick" Greene is a Corrections Officer K9 Handler at Maine State Prison in Warren, ME. Corporal Greene and TJ are team mates.

"My family and I would like to thank Sandy Marcal , President of Vested Interest in K-9s, for helping to protect our four legged friends and Mr. & Mrs. Martin owners of Economy Motors of Hermon Maine for funding TJ's vest. This custom made ballistic vest brings us piece of mind. It will provide a level of protection that a handler is not able to provide. This will help keep my partner and I safer while we work to keep our community safe," said Corporal Greene.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) all volunteer charity located in East Taunton, MA. whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests for law enforcement dogs throughout the United States. Each vest costs $950.00 and has a 5 year warranty. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 438 law enforcement dogs with protective vests since their inception in August of 2009. Over $400,000 in K9 vests have been donated in 36 states.

For more information about Vested Interest in K9s or call 508-824-6978.