Church donates cooling vests to help K-9’s beat the heat

The Valdosta Police Department in Georgia K-9 unit is going to stay cool this summer thanks to one giving church.

VPD received eight cooling vests donated by the Messiah Lutheran Church women’s missionary league for its eight dogs that make up the K-9 unit.

The church presented the vests Thursday when VPD police dog Ziggy showcased how the life-saving vests work.


“We look at whatever is going on in the community and then give back to it.”


“Imagine 15 minutes of tracking or doing some type of deployment — (these dogs are) going to get hot,” VPD Sgt. Alan Girsch said. “We can put this vest on, pour water on it, and it will prevent them from getting a heat stroke.”

Valdosta Police Department (Sarah Warrender)

The VPD has lost a dog to heat stroke before. Just a week ago, a Gwinnett County K-9 dog died due to a heat stroke.

With temperatures lately going to 95 degrees and higher, Girsch knew exactly what to request when the Messiah Lutheran Church called to see how they could help.

“(They) are tremendous people to help us out with this, and we greatly appreciate it,” Girsch said. “It’s not fashion — it’s specifically used to save a dog’s life.”

Norene Olsen, the church’s women’s league president, used to help with search and rescue teams, so she has seen firsthand how the vests can save dogs’ lives.

Valdosta Police Department (Sarah Warrender)

She’s also a dog lover, with three at home, so she said the money was well spent.

“We look at whatever is going on in the community and then give back to it,” Olsen said. “We’re just a small church, but we’re here to serve.”

Source: Valdosta Daily Times