HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Rio, a K9 for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, has some new gear.
Rio is part of a team of dogs used to investigate hunting and fishing violations across the state, although she is based out of the coastal Region Four, which includes Horry County. She is often called to help other agencies in missing persons or evidence searches, according to an announcement from SCDNR.
The bullet and stab-proof vest was donated by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., an nonprofit that purchases protective vests to K9s. The vest is custom-fit for Rio.
“We are so appreciative of this donation by Vested Interest in K9s,” Sgt. Freddie Earhart, Rio’s handler, said in the announcement. “It will help keep Rio safe as she performs her daily law enforcement duties.”
The best is embroidered with “In memory of K9 Gabo, Jonesboro, AK – EOW 1/16/20.” Gabo was shot five times in 2018 during a SWAT operation. He survived due to his vest, and died in 2020 after an illness.