Jango, a Belgian Malinois, and Rocky, a German shepherd, have stood up to armed criminals for years with no protection.

Until now.

A ninth-grader from Shaler has raised $5,000 to purchase bulletproof vests for the two pooches, as well as for two other trained dogs that work for the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office.

“This is important. If a police dog is shot, it’s like a police officer losing a partner,” said Amanda Platt, 15, who attends Shaler Area Intermediate School.

Amanda began raising money three years ago. She has helped buy $825 vests for six police dogs, including dogs in Ross and Franklin Park. The sheriff’s dogs received their vests last month.

“She is a very determined young lady who cares a lot about dogs. We are very grateful,” said Acting Sheriff William Mullen, who presented Amanda with a plaque Wednesday. “We struggle with the budget, so this is a great help.”

Amanda isn’t finished. She wants to buy vests for the six Allegheny County Police dogs.

She was inspired to raise money for the vests when she read “Chicken Soup for the Pre-Teen Soul,” a book of stories about youths that included an account of how a California girl, Stephanie Taylor, raised money for police dog vests.

“I have had a dog every year of my life, so I liked this girl’s idea,” Amanda said.

Her mother, Donna Platt, said Amanda has a soft spot for dogs.

“She always cried when dogs were hurt in movies. She still does,” Donna Platt said.

To raise the money, Amanda asked classmates for small contributions and contacted businesses with fliers and letters. She sometimes was surprised by generous replies. Duquesne Light Co., for example, donated $1,000.

“We expected maybe a couple hundred dollars,” Amanda said.

Bob Chambers, a K-9 police officer with the sheriff’s office, said he’s thrilled to have the vests.

“My dogs go into felony arrest warrants with no protection. People often have all kinds of weapons in these situations,” Chambers said.

None of the sheriff’s dogs has been killed in the line of duty. But in September, a Polk County Sheriff’s deputy and his canine partner were killed.

“These dogs are my best friends. They are like my children,” Chambers said.