Local author donates body armor to Middlesex County K9

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A local author recently ordered and received a second piece of K9 body armor which he donated to the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office.

Big Dog Books author James Wiater of Millstone, formerly of Sayreville, presented the gear to K9 Bryn, Officer Kevin Mastroserio and Sheriff Mildred Scott at the sheriff’s office in New Brunswick on July 6.

Bryn is a 2-and-a-half-year-old German shepherd who is certified by the Montclair State University K9 Scent School in conjunction with the Montclair State University Police and the Middlesex and Essex County Sheriff’s Office, according to information provided by Wiater.

The cost for Bryn’s vest was $900. The donation was made possible from proceeds of a children’s book written by Wiater, titled “The Adventures of Solo, The Big Dog.” The book started as a simple story about a K9 officer that Wiater had made up for his daughters, Nikki and Kaci. The book was titled after real life K9 Solo was killed in the line of duty in Bradley Beach in 1998.

“Back in 1998, after reading the article about the police standoff and how Solo lost his life in the line of duty, I made a promise to myself that one day I would purchase a bulletproof vest for a K9 officer,” Wiater said in the statement.

Since the book’s publishing last August, Wiater has donated several pieces of K9 safety equipment. His first piece of body armor was donated to K9 Edge of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office in January. Next are K9 Udon of the Carteret Police Department and K9 Basilone of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.

He has also donated two pet oxygen kits, one to the Millstone Fire Department and the second to K9 Finn of the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office, along with a field trauma kit to K9 Ricky of the Willingboro Police Department.

“I have several more pieces of equipment that have been requested and I am hoping to have them delivered soon,” Wiater said. “I am not only excited about the K9 officers that we will be helping to protect, but also about the future of the book and the potential we have to help others,” he said.

For more information, visit Bigdogbooks.net or email Jim@bigdogbooks.net.