Kim Janel with Rocky, whom she rescued out of the Newark shelter. Janel is the founder of the Northeast Animal Support Alliance.

A police dog in the line-of-duty faces the same threat of deadly force and imminent danger as a police officer. Unfortunately, fur does not protect against a gunshot, and most police forces are unable to fund sufficient protection for their police dogs.

Capital K9 Association seeks to level the playing field by outfitting police dogs with ballistic body armor providing lifesaving protection, at no cost to the municipality.

The mission of Capital K9 Association, a nonprofit organization based in Mercer County, is to supply police dogs with ballistic body armor and other safety equipment. Through its recent fund-raising efforts, in conjunction with Kim Janel of Northeast Animal Support Alliance, enough money has been raised to equip two Ewing Township Police Dogs and a Lawrence Township Police Dog with ballistic body armor.

A West Windsor Township K-9 unit will also receive a vehicle heat sensor and electronic car door opener, permitting the police dog to exit the vehicle and assist its partner.

On Sunday, April 14 at noon, police officers from Ewing Township, Lawrence Township and West Windsor Township, along with their K-9 partners, will be on hand to accept their lifesaving equipment in a ceremonial presentation. This will be preceded by a demonstration by the K-9 units at 11:30 a.m.

The ceremony will take place at the Second Annual Spring Community Festival at Rosedale Mills, 101 State Route 31 North, Pennington.

The Spring Community Festival, organized by Northeast Animal Support Alliance, is intended to raise both awareness and funds for animal organizations such as Capital K9 Association, as well as regional animal rescues such as EASEL, German Shepard Rescue of NJ and the Trenton Cats Rescue. The festival is scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features Easter Egg hunts for children of different age groups, drawings for door prizes from local business, a disc jockey, a petting zoo, food and beverages from local restaurants, and more than 50 vendors.

There will also be animal rescues on site with dogs and cats waiting to be adopted to their forever homes. All proceeds will go directly to the sponsored animal rescues and Capital K9 Association. The rain date is Saturday, April 20.

The Spring Community Festival is free to attend. Pets are welcome. If you have any questions, or would like to donate towards a vest, contact Kim Janel at ksjanel@comcast.net.