ANTIOCH (CBS SF) – The shooting of an Antioch police dog last summer has led to the some new protections for the city’s four-legged officers.

All four of the Antioch Police Department’s police dogs received the custom-fitted bulletproof vests, compliments of the Police and Working Canine Foundation “Cover Your K9 Fund” and Pet Food Express.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

Thor, the police dog, was shot last August when officers responding to a report of a residential burglary in progress sent him into a house ahead of them. As the officers followed, they heard what sounded like two shots being fired from a small-caliber gun.

When officers entered the room where the shots had come from, the suspect pointed his gun at them and the officers shot and killed him.

Thor, a Belgian Malinois, was treated for a gunshot wound to his shoulder and returned to service in the fall. He has been with the department for nine years.

“That night there was no question in my mind that he saved my life by being the first one into that room to take the gunfire,” said Antioch Police Sergeant Matt Harger, who raised Thor from a puppy. “Had I been the first person into that room, I would have been the one that got shot.”

The vests are custom-fitted for each dog to provide optimum mobility and protection, and are made of the exact same materials as the humans’ vests.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. Nikki says:

    It’s sad that police K9s generally have to rely on donations from the private sector for what should be mandatory protective gear. Law enforcement agencies who can pay thousands of dollars for the purchase of a trained K9 should be required by legislation to provide each dog with a vest, just as they are required to do for their human officers. These agencies who subject their four-legged officers to dangerous confrontations without any protective gear should be ashamed of themselves. Kudos to PWCF and PetFood Express for their donations, but honestly, the provision of protective vests for K9 officers should be the moral and budgetary responsibility of the agencies who exploit the courage and selflessness of these dogs.