MECA Vest a K-9 Fest, an event designed to help K-9 dogs

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee is the city of festivals, and there's one for everyone, including our furry friends! One fest in particular is doing lots of good to help protect the community.

When it comes to fighting crime, these K-9 units are top dog. Officer Eric Lindstrom has worked with DJ for four years. They go everywhere together, and often times, DJ is on the front lines of duty.

"He`s going to be the first one to encounter a bad guy when they`re out there, so if he comes across them, and they have a weapon, it`s going to be necessary for him to have that protection," says Lindstrom.

He's talking about a bullet and stab proof vest, just like the human officers wear. They are worn in all types of situations, and protect the most vulnerable parts of the dog. The problem is, the vests are pricey -- costing upward of $1,000 dollars each, which some departments can't afford.

Long time veterinarian and owner of the Milwaukee Center for Animals, Dr. Marla Lichtenberger, came up with this event, MECA Vest a K-9 Fest.

"They`re wonderful dogs, all of them, yeah, they`re great to work with," says Lichtenberger.

Lichtenberger has worked with several of the Miwlaukee K-9's and this year they're also raising money to purchase new vets and new dogs in the future.

"We found out that there is such a great need for them to get new dogs, also because the dogs go into training at about 2 years of age and then by 9 or 10 they`re retired already, so they`re in constant need of a new dog," says Lichtenberger.

The medical center held raffles, cat and dog adoptions, and some of the Brewers players even showed up to support the cause, all in the name of keeping the dogs safe.

The MECA Foundation also hosted an animal blood drive to attract dog and cat blood donors.