Working dogs for the Vancouver Winter Games are being outfitted with some uber-protection gear that can protect against bullets, Molotov cocktails, and a variety of knife blades.   These canine vests also contain  a wireless camera, speakers and an integrated microphone that allow the dog’s handler to see and issue commands via an integrated audio system.  Packed with infra-red lighting systems, they are also equipped with harnesses that allow the dog to repel out of helicopters and use mountain chair lifts. 

We’re talking serious armor here. 

Fans and spectators of all kinds attend these large and popular events.   They also attract political protesters and, sorry to say, your assorted nuts.  And some can be dangerous.  Security personnel of the Winter Olympics will be armed with police dogs.   The Winter Olympic activities also demands the special training of search and rescue teams and avalanche dogs. 

All these teams will have special gear, and the gear of choice for the dogs will be supplied by K9 Storm, Inc.

Jim Slater, who founded K9 Storm Inc. 12 years ago, is a former police officer.  Animal handlers of any kind; search and rescue, police and security personnel, all wear protective gear.  But when Jim Slater found himself in a volatile prison riot, he was protected.  But his police dog was not.   The need for his canine partner became clear.  Like their human handlers, working dogs are often placed in life threatening situations.  It makes perfect sense to have canine partners similarly protected.  So in 1996, Jim Slater created K9 Storm, which has outfitted police dogs and military working dogs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At the 2001 Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, Slater said one dog’s life was saved by his vest.  “One of the protesters threw a Molotov cocktail and it exploded underneath the dog. The dog was wearing K9 Storm armour and was absolutely protected from the flames,” he said. “I think it’s vital.”

Absolutely. 

K-9 Storm suits up dogs within Canada with the RCMP, other police forces and agencies, the Canadian Coast Guard, and others with police forces/agencies around the world.  The company also provides a variety of accessories such as collars, crates, leashes, and reflective gear. 

It’s not the kind of gear you need for the average neighborhood walk, but the way my dog drags me over the meadows, through the woods, across the ice, and down the riverbanks, I might have to sink my money into this:

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