A local business hosts a fundraiser for K9 officer's ballistic vest

Published: Aug. 18, 2016 at 5:01 PM CDT
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They are often the first on the scene and the first one in the line of fire, and that's why they deserve some sort of protection.

Lois is a two-and-half year old German shepherd who loves to have fun like any normal dog.

"She pretty much goes everywhere with me. She's pretty much like any other dog, you know, sleeps on the floor and hangs out with me and the family for the rest of the time," said Sr. Patrol Officer Erik Laudenschlager, Minot Police Department.

But Lois has more responsibilities than your average pup. She's a K9 officer who faces danger every day.

"She's the point of the spear when it comes to stuff like that. If we have a dangerous suspect that ran from us, that ran from a situation, it's me and Lois out there looking for them. We are kind of the starting point for that, but if anything bad happens it's going to happen to us before it happens to anyone else," said Laudenschlager.

For her and her partner Erik, it's all part of the job.

"It's kind of what we signed up for, and it's what we wanted to do. She's very good at what she does and does a real good job at keeping me safe, but at the same time I know that we are going to be the first ones to be in contact with that dangerous suspect if need be," said Laudenschlager.

And because of that, one local business is working to make sure Lois is protected in the field with her very own ballistic vest.

"It was something that just popped up in conversation between the chief and I about what needs do they have, what can we do as a community member, and as a business. And then what can we do to engage the Minot community and what can we do to show our support and our thanks to the Minot Police department and all that they do," said Pam Karpenko, Mainstream Boutique Minot.

A ballistic vest will cost about $2,300, but both of them say her safety is worth much more.

"By offering the opportunity to assist in buying this K9's ballistic vest you know being that they are on the front line, and they serve and don't have the protection, you know it's really important that we protect them as well," said Karpenko.

So Lois can continue to inspire, protect and even entertain Minot's finest.

"She's kind of a morale booster in the PD. Everybody gets a kick out of seeing her, and she likes to shred paper so they have some fun with her waving some paper around, and she'll go and shred it up and we'll say 'hey boss, look the dog ate my homework, so that's why you don't have that report,'" said Laudenschlager.

The Mainstream Boutique is hosting the fundraiser Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and for every purchase they will donate 10 percent of their profits to the Minot PD.