YORK COUNTY — Bado, one of the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office (YPSO) K9s, will receive extra protection thanks to a member of the community.
Bado, a Belgian Malinois, will get a bullet- and stab-protective vest donated from Vested Interest K9s, Inc, a non-profit organization that provides protective gear and other assistance to law enforcement dogs throughout the country.
Bado’s vest is sponsored by Williamsburg resident Rosemarie Worley, who is honoring her late husband, Sam, whom she lost unexpectedly two years ago.
“If anybody knew Sam and the gentle heart that he had for people and animals, they would understand why I did that,” Worley said.
Worley, who now owns O’Neills Driving School, said that both she and her husband were both retired from the U.S. Navy (USN) and the idea to help a K9 came from an incident years ago when she worked for the branch.
“One of our complexes on Jefferson Avenue flooded out and we had a lot of pilferage going on,” she said. “So the Navy put the K9s out front to protect us and protect the property. And to watch those dogs in action, it was phenomenal.”
Sam, who Worley said was a dog lover, was moved by this.
“He made a comment to me one day that he would love to have bought a vest for one of the dogs,” Worley said. “And that just kind of sat in my mind for many years, and when I lost him unexpectedly it was like my sign.”
Worley reached out to YPSO to donate a vest to one of the K9s.
Bado, who officially began his work as a YPSO K9 in November 2019, was not old enough at the time to have a vest.
But Worley was insistent and continued to call.
“I don’t know a better way to honor Sam than to do it this way,” she said. “Because my Sam was a gentle soul. So I just wish that people that didn’t know him could have known him because he touched everybody’s heart.”
Bado, along with other K9s, play an integral part in law enforcement. Their keen sense of smell, agility and speed can help locate people and objects that may be undetectable to humans.
The dogs can also help de-escalate high-risk situations.
Bado, whose handler is Deputy Matt Singleton, is expected to receive his new vest in the next eight to ten weeks.
The vest will be embroidered with the message, “In memory of Samuel C. Worley USN retired.”
“The protection that they offer, not just to us as civilians, but the protection they offer to the handlers as well is just remarkable,” Worley said.
Worley said that she is also hoping to donate another to a handler in honor of Sam in the future.
“This is my way of knowing that the dog is going to be protected and that I did what I could for Sam when I couldn’t do anymore,” Worley said.