September 30, 2013
For Janet Canseco, selling hot dogs at her family-run J&R Hot Dogs cart is a way to fundraise for a good cause.
Most of the cart’s profits and 100 percent of the tips are donated to the organization, Vest’n PDP, which purchases bullet-resistant vests for police canines around the country. To date, Canseco has raised money for four vests for dogs from North Carolina to California. This time, however, she wanted to donate locally and presented a canine vest to the Kansas City Police Department on Sept. 20.
Canseco said she and her husband and daughter are big dog lovers, and when they opened the hot dog cart as a side business, they wanted it to be something bigger than themselves.
“My heart would always go out to the dog that got deployed to a drug house,” she said. “You don’t know what’s behind those walls. They’re risking their lives to protect us and the perpetrator – because they can deploy the dog instead of shooting the suspect.”
The vests typically cost between $1,600 and $2,400, Canseco said.
KCPD does not have the money for those vests in its budget, Canine Unit Supervisor Sgt. Carl Abraham said.
“We had several donated years ago, but we added dogs, and some of the newer ones don’t have one,” Abraham said.
Abraham said the dogs wear the vests in situations with a high risk of being shot, such as those involving active shooters or suspects who have threatened officers.
Canine Bela, a Belgian Malinois whose human partner is Officer Kenneth Davis, will receive the new vest.