ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Leo the German Shepard Dog and his handler, Michigan Medicine Security Officer Paul Meyers, have graduated from the K-9 Academy Training Facility and are ready for duty at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor.
After 12 weeks of intense training, Leo and Meyers are taking on the role of K-9 team for the hospital system. Their purpose is to reduce security risks while being a compassionate and calm force to lower anxiety for patients, staff and visitors.
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While the pair is certified for “Hospital Dog and Explosive Detection,” during the current pandemic part of their job is to help stressed-out staff. Michigan Medicine staff can pet and interact with Leo as a way to have a moment of calm or to start their shift with positivity.
Currently, Leo and Meyers aren’t interacting with patients. Eventually, they will spend their time in the adult emergency department where they will de-escalate tensions to help patients have a better experience.
The Michigan Medicine K-9 Security Program is a collaborative effort and receives funding from Michigan Medicine and the University of Michigan Division of Public Safety and Security.
According to Michigan Medicine, scenes in the video below were shot before social distancing was in-effect.
Learn about some of Leo’s training here.