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Ashland middle school donates K-9 safety vest

Posted at 8:05 PM, Mar 18, 2016

Every day officers put their lives on the line and some of those officers are of the  four-legged variety. But it's not always easy to protect the K-9s in the line of duty and one local school is taking steps to change that.

Six year-old Meiko has been a part of the Ashland County Sheriff's Office for the past three years.

“She's a great partner, I couldn't ask for a better partner," said Sergeant Timothy W. Kitts of the Ashland County Sheriff’s Department.

As their narcotics service dog, Meiko ends up in situations that are highly stressful and at times extremely dangerous.

“We really never know from one minute to the next what kind of situation we're going to be in and unfortunately there's been eight K-9s killed in the United States so far this year," Kitts said.

But there are ways to help protect the K-9s who protect us and that's where Black River Middle School's student counsel comes in.

Gary Bush is the Student Council Advisor at the school and said the group is always looking for ways to give back.

“This past year, we decided it's possible that getting a dog vest would be perfect for Ashland County."

So they decided to raise money to donate a security vast to the sheriff’s office K-9 unit and earlier this month, that vest arrived.

“Jumping and running is a little different, but she's getting used to it," said Kitt about Meiko’s adjustment to her new vest.

NewsChannel 5 was there for the special school assembly today where Meiko got to show off her new apparel to the students.

“Who doesn't love dogs and all the work they can do as K-9 officers, so we were really happy to donate money to give a vest to them," said Lauren Myers, the Student Leaders President at the school.

Kitts said he couldn't be more grateful for the students’ generosity.

“It really amazed me that they did this...it shows how much the community really does appreciate what the dogs do and what we do."

The safety vest came from Vested Interested in K-9s organization that helps service dogs across the country get the protection they need.