VANCOUVER -- Four dogs working hard to keep the Lower Mainland safe will soon be protected themselves thanks to funding from a local foundation.

The Abbotsford Police Foundation announced Monday that it's giving $6,800 to pay for four lightweight armoured protection vests for local police dogs. 

The K9 street fighter vests are used by law enforcement teams around the world and cost about $1,700 each. 

"Police dog teams are highly valuable assets to policing. There are countless examples of police service dogs that have saved lives, located missing kids and tracked to apprehend violent criminals evading arrest," said Abbotsford police chief constable, Mike Serr, in a news release. 

"These vests help ensure our four-legged members remain active and healthy during their service life."

There are four Abbotsford police officers working as dog handlers and assigned to the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Service Unit. Two dogs are actively serving with Abbotsford police handlers: Jero and Karma. 

"While it's impossible to put a value on the dog and how it helps keep the city safe, the estimated cost to breed, purchase, train and maintain a validated police dog can be upward of $80,000 per dog," Serr said. 

The foundation has also helped fund other specialized equipment purchases in the past, including a drone. Each year the group receives grant applications from police for a variety of initiatives.