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St. Joseph's Hospital adds dogs to security team

Posted at 5:18 PM, May 06, 2016

Dogs are being added to security teams across the country - and now one hospital in Milwaukee is trying them out. They can do more than just keep patients and staff safe.

Meet Bo. He's one of two dogs that are now part of the security team at St. Joe's Hospital.

“So if there was an abandoned bag in the lobby or possibly a suspicious item, we're able to go through, check that item, ensure that it's safe in there and then take it into lost and found,” Handler Mark Cassity said.

It's more than just keeping people safe. Bo's also there to make you feel more comfortable.

“Emergency rooms are high stress areas. When people go to emergency departments, they're sick, they're injured, they're looking to get better and be healed. And a lot of times when they're arriving they're just not in a good mood,” St Joe’s Security Director Cindy Mangan said.

“To see a dog that's just calm, kind of relaxed, keeps its composure. I think that provides kind of a calming environment,” Cassity said.

It's that relaxed attitude that makes them perfect for the most stressful area of the hospital, the emergency room.

“I think that the dogs just generally, their demeanor, their calm, they're well trained, they are relaxed, and people feed off of that,” Dr. Gary Swart said.

The dogs have been on patrol all week and so far they seem to be working. If the program continues to do well, St. Joe's plans to add more security dogs.