Some of Maine's state police force is now better protected thanks to a non profit organization.

A total of eight K9 officers have been outfitted with new vests.

Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland says the vests were donated thanks to efforts from Vested Interest in K9s Inc, a charity from East Taunton, MA, which has provided vests to over 400 police dogs around the country.

The vests, which are bullet and stab proof , will help protect the dogs as they work with their Trooper partners around Maine.

In addition to Winger, pictured above, the following K9 units have received these protective vests:

Trooper Rick Moody and Foster from Troop C in Skowhegan

Trooper Kevin Rooney and Howie from Troop A in York County

Trooper Shawn Porter and Myka from Troop D in Augusta

Trooper Adam Fillebrown and Aros from Troop B in Gray

Trooper Eric Verhille and Clint from Troop D in Augusta

Trooper Matthew Williams and Landy from Troop A in York County

Sgt. Chad Fuller and Gleni from Troop F in Aroostook County

The Petco Foundation is a major contributor to the charity, with money raised from fund raising events at the company’s  1,200 stores.

Another contributor to the effort was a former New York police officer, now living in Sorrento, Maine.

Madeleine Hamersley, 83, donated funding to equip a number of dogs around the country, including Winger, who patrols near her home.

State Police Sgt. Blaine Bronson, who runs the department’s canine training program, says all of the State Police’s 18 patrol dogs are equipped with protective vests.

The new vests have gone to patrol dogs recently trained, or veteran dogs whose previous vests have worn out.