November 2017 (Millstone, NJ) – Big Dog Books LLC and author James Wiater of Millstone NJ continues to donate Body Armor and Safety Equipment to K9 Officers through proceeds of his children’s book. Wiater recently ordered and received his fourth piece of K9 Body Armor which cost $2900.00 and was donated to K9 Basilone and Sheriff’s Officer Shannon DiNella of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office on September 26th. Basilone is a 2 year old German shepherd who is certified by the Union County Sheriff’s K9 Academy and specializes in tracking.
K9 Basilone was named in honor of Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone (1916-1945) who was killed in action during WWII and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The black and tan German Shepherd K9 Basilone, was born in the Slovak Republic in 2016. He joined Sheriff’s Officer Shannon DiNella in March of 2017.
The vest dedication took place at the Somerset County Freeholder’s meeting in Somerville, NJ. Sheriff Frank Provenzano and K9 Officer Shannon DiNella along with Basilone accepted the vest from James Wiater.
The vest 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” who was killed in the line of duty in Bradley Beach NJ in1998. The publishing of this dog-loving children’s book is a dream come true for James Wiater. “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 bullet proof vest for a K9 officer” Wiater exclaimed.
Wiater has also received generous donations to his Go Fund Me page which he started to help raise additional funds for the equipment. Including a generous donation from the Basilone Foundation which helped with the purchase of the vest.
Since the book’s publishing last August, Wiater has donated several pieces of K9 safety equipment to law enforcement departments throughout NJ. “I have several more pieces of equipment that have been requested by the Willingboro N.J. Police Dept. and the Palmer Twp. Pa. Police Department and I am hoping to have them delivered soon,” Wiater said. He also stated, “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!”
The SCSO K-9 Unit presently consists of three handlers and 4 K-9s. The unit includes 2 tracking teams, an explosive and arson team and 1narcotics team. The K9 Unit works closely with local police, as well as many state and federal agencies. Since 2003, the Sheriff’s K9 Units have answered a total of 1,821 calls and have taken $2.9 million worth of drugs off the streets, along with six guns and $220,000 in currency. The officers also take an active part in reaching out to the community. In addition to emergency response, the K9 Unit takes part in numerous parades, demonstrations, and other community events.
“Unfortunately, there are many more local K9 Officers that go to work each day without body armor and protection. The more books we can sell, the more K9 Officers we can sponsor and help protect.” says James Wiater.
To purchase a copy of “The Adventures of Solo, The Big Dog”, please visit Bigdogbooks.net or email Jim@bigdogbooks.net. Or visit our GoFundMe page for anyone who may be interested in making a donation. Friends of Solo/K9 equipment.