Canines are keeping employees and visitors to the Canandaigua VA Medical Center safe.
They’re serving a bigger purpose, too.
The facility is using a Labrador Retriever to detect drugs. The dog has successfully done so at least a dozen times. It’s a success story that has blossomed.
“We have some veterans who are recovering addicts … and we want to keep drugs off the VA campus,” said Sgt. Chris Hamilton, a member of the VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System Police Department.
Size of the facilities in Canandaigua and Bath make having canines on-campus a beneficial addition.
Kathleen Hider, public affairs officer says programs that brought two canines to the facilities has worked well. “The Bath and Canandaigua campuses are huge, with a lot of parking lots and a lot of land. There are a lot of ways to get in and out of buildings,” Hider said. “The dogs help police cover a lot of ground without a lot of manpower.”
The dogs are also proving to be a beneficial addition to the atmosphere of the facilities, as well as a meaningful addition to handers’ families.