Officer Mike Smith and K-9 officer Axel, who serve as the K9 security team at Providence St. Mary Medical Center, will be at a meet-and-greet from noon-2 p.m. Saturday at PetSmart, 1626 W. Poplar St.
Providence St. Mary Foundation funded the introduction of the program at St. Mary.
A German shepherd Belgian Malinois cross, Axel was born in August 2018, is described as calm, obedient and friendly and has been on the job since early December.
These dogs are not purebred as their parentage is a combination of German shepherds and Belgian Malinois, but the blend brings in elegant, intelligent characteristics with a strong, proud in stature, smooth-coated, herding dog with an alert attitude, reports
The Malinois is reputed to be the best herding breed in Belgium. Like the German shepherd, they’re in high demand as police and military dogs.
Mike will talk about the hospital’s security program at the event. He previously worked in Oregon law enforcement and started at St. Mary in March, according to a Dec. 23 story by U-B colleague Vicki Hillhouse.
As a security team, the pair’s eight-week training took place at the Alabama Canine Law Enforcement Training Center in Northport.
There are just four hospitals in the state, including St. Mary, that have a K-9 on their security teams.
Axel has a finely honed sense of smell, which can help with contraband detection and patrol security to reduce and deter workplace violence.
The meet-and-greet is open to the community.