SANTA ANA ( — A group of children helped raise money to outfit one of the Santa Ana Police Department’s newest canine officers with a bulletproof vest.

Puskas, a Dutch Shepherd, joined the force six months ago, but did not have a ballistics vest.

To teach their kids about forming a company, children of employees at the Orange County office of Deloitte held an ice cream sale, with the proceeds going to a worthy cause.

“They heard all about the training, how much the dog costs, how much the dog really helps save officers’ lives as well as the lives of the people in the community,” said Michelle Kerns of Deloitte. “And they were just very passionate.”

The kids raised $600 from the sale, and the Santa Ana Police Foundation contributed the remaining $300 to buy the new vest.

Officer Ross Perrera, who is the handler for Puskas, said the vest makes a big difference in the field.

“The dog does come at you and when he lunges, his whole front is exposed,” said Perrera. “Now these new vests are covering that portion of their body for them.”

A second dog was outfitted with a new vest courtesy of a donation from Securidad, an Orange security firm.

Now that the force’s two newest dogs are outfitted with vests, officers are hoping to raise $25,000 to buy two new police dogs and retire two others from the force.


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