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Last Hope donates new vest for K-9 Odin

Leon Orr (left) of Last Hope pet rescue in Farmington donated a new ballistic vest for K-9 Odin. Odin is shown with Farmington police officer Gary Tipton, who is his handler. Kara Hildreth / Contributor

Farmington police K-9 Odin is now fully protected with a ballistic vest after a donation from Last Hope pet rescue in Farmington.

Farmington City Council accepted the donation of a ballistic, protective vest for K-9 Odin from Leon Orr on behalf of Last Hope, Inc., at its March 4 meeting. Last Hope, a Farmington-based pet rescue organization, has been in operation as a nonprofit for more than 30 years.

Farmington Police Chief Gary Rutherford and police officer Gary Tipton, Odin's handler, accepted the donation.

In November 2018, Orr contacted the city on behalf of Last Hope. The nonprofit wished to fund the purchase of a new, better fitting ballistic vest for K-9 Odin, valued at $1,009.31.

"These vests, other than their shape, are really not any different than the ones worn by our officers and they are designed to stop most common handgun rounds," Rutherford said. "K-9 teams sometimes go into areas or situations where we wouldn't risk the life of one of our human officers. We owe it to them to provide them with the best protection that we can."

The former ballistic vest worn by now retired K-9 Bosco did not fit Odin and this left him unprotected during high-risk calls, Rutherford said. Bosco's vest will now be donated to Red Wing Police Department to provide K-9 Archie with protection.