BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A local police K9 now has protection thanks to a group of fifth graders at Old High Middle School in Bentonville.

In February, Bella Vista police officer Michael Jaro and his K9 officer Rip met with a group of students. The students noticed Rip was missing a protective vest and decided to raise the money for one themselves.

They were able to present a check for $3,000 to Jaro and Rip on May 17 so that Rip can get his bullet and stabproof vest.

Some of the students talked about why this was important to them.

“I thought that when I first joined that I knew we were gonna get through it, and if we just worked hard, we could save this dog’s life,” said 5th grader Olivia Charlesworth.

“They help those who need help, and especially with K9s, when they don’t have protection like Rip, it can really impact them,” said 5th grader Hudson Semingson.

The students fundraised outside of Allen’s Food Store and Harp’s in Bella Vista. This was part of a class project led by their teacher.