Eighth Grader Raises $3,200 to Buy Bulletproof Vests for Police Dogs

Jaylen Rauch enlists the help of his classmates and community to protect canine heroes.

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Police officer and teenaged boy pet dog
Thanks to the kind-heartedness of Jaylen Rauch (right), the next time police dog Taz heads into harms way, he'll be wearing a bullet-proof vest. (Photo: WISTV)

When Jaylen Rauch, an eighth-grade boy from South Carolina, learned that an area police dog had been shot and killed in the line of duty, he turned sadness into action. “I thought about this for a couple of days and it really bothered me," said Rauch to Heraldonline. "My thoughts were: ‘Why would someone want to shoot and kill a harmless dog trying to do his job?’ ”

Rauch wondered if the dogs that served the Batesburg-Leesville Police Department had bulletproof vests like their human counterparts. The big-hearted and enterprising middle-schooler started raising funds on his own, before asking Batesbur-Leesville Middle School principal Angie Rye if the students could get involved. Ray agreed and challenged the students to help raise $2,000 to buy the vests.

The community pooled their donations with the students, and within a week, they’d raised $2,000. And the money kept coming. Last Friday, Jaylen and his classmates presented Lt. Gary Price and Taz, his canine partner, with $3,200.

The donations will provide vests for Taz and Sisco, another Batesburg-Leesville police dog. The remaining funds will be used to purchase other necessities for the brave pups.

Rauch says the work was well worth it, noting that the dogs make “unselfish sacrifices” to ensure human safety.

“That is another reason that the bulletproof vests would be so valuable for our police dogs,” said Price. “They are fearless and will do everything they can to protect us.”