Thursday, December 3, 2009

Protecting the dogs that protect us

The military can invest as much as $50,000 to train a four-legged soldier. That's a lot of training and a lot of money, so it is important that they protect that investment. Just like human soldiers, you wouldn't want them to go into the battlefield without proper protection.

Luckily K9 Storm has developed a bullet proof vest for working dogs. They didn't stop there. You can see in this picture that they developed a special harness for a dog and his partner to safely jump out of an airplane together! They are also working on cameras an d microphones for the dogs' collars so the humans can see and hear what is ahead, and even speakers for the collars so that dogs can hear important commands even when out of earshot. This isn't just for military dogs either, some police dogs are also getting this extra protection.

This is big business--K9 Storm nets over $5 million a year on this specialized gear. The co-founder Jim Slater didn't get in it just for the money though. As a K9 officer working in a prison that was having a riot, he was worried sick that his working dog had some protection to wear in that dangerous environment. Working dogs everywhere send him wags for his ingenuity.

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