Denton County K-9s getting donated body armor

News 8's Philip Townsend has more.

DENTON COUNTY -- When dogs are as playful as Nylo, it's easy to forget their line of work.

But the four-and-a-half year old German shepherd is Gustavo Melo's partner at the Denton County Sheriff's Office.

"He's a narcotics dog," Melo said, "but he's a lover boy."

Melo was wearing a heavy-duty bullet-proof vest during an interview with News 8 Thursday.

Nylo doesn't have one, but that will soon change.

"They deserve the best protection we can give them, just like we would provide for our officers in Denton County," said Rebecca Finberg with the Denton Animal Support Foundation.

When Finberg heard there was a need for K9 body armor in the county, she pooled resources from the non-profit.

Their mission is to save more Denton area animals, and this certainly fit the bill.

"It's such a great feeling, being able to provide that," Finberg said.

The foundation awarded a $2,200 grant this week that will pay for two new vests; one for Nylo and one for Rocky, the county's second K-9 unit, handled by Clayton Wood.

"It's nice knowing he has something that will stop a knife if he's stabbed," Wood said.

K9 body armor isn't in the budget for many law enforcement agencies across North Texas. However, many cities -- including Grand Prairie, Cedar Hill, Mansfield, Dallas and Fort Worth -- have still been able to provide them thanks to donations.

The vests haven't arrived yet in Denton County, but the purchase is already peace of mind for Gustavo Melo.

"I'm going to protect this dog, and he's going to protect me," Melo said. "Then, we are going to go home."

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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