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HonorHealth Foundation - 2024 Impact Report - K-9 Security ProgramImpact Report | HonorHealth K-9 Security Program

Your generosity provides peace of mind and protection

Founded in 2000 with only two dogs, HonorHealth’s K-9 Security Program has grown to 16 teams providing 24/7 coverage throughout all six HonorHealth medical centers. They play an increasingly vital role in ensuring safety in our facilities.

Our highly trained K-9 teams provide not only peace of mind and protection, but also comfort and big smiles as they interact daily with patients, family members and staff.

Support of this critical program is more important than ever before as HonorHealth, and hospitals nationwide, face an increasing number of potentially volatile situations at our facilities.

Your gift to the HonorHealth K-9 Security Program supports and expands this vital service, which brings together highly trained dogs and their dedicated handlers to protect and serve our patients, staff and facilities every day.

Philanthropy makes this and so much more possible. It’s your kindness, compassion and generosity that makes a difference when and where it’s needed most.

And for that, we thank you!

Download the K-9 Security Program Impact Report (PDF format)
HonorHealth Foundation - 2024 Impact Report - K-9 Security Program 

HonorHealth Foundation - 2024 Impact Report - K-9 Security Program


“A K-9 security team is briefly stopped while patrolling an HonorHealth medical center. A smiling child wants to pet the dog. A few minutes later, a nurse hints that her patient who loves dogs could use a “special visit” from a furry friend. Enough said – off goes the K-9 team to make a patient’s day brighter!”

Program Supervisor and Trainer, HonorHealth K-9 Security Program



HonorHealth Foundation - 2024 Impact Report - K-9 Security ProgramMaking great care possible is just the start!

Because of you

The HonorHealth K-9 Security Program is wholly dependent on philanthropic gifts. Your compassion and kindness ensures each extensively trained K-9 team is ready to respond whenever they’re needed.

In 2023, the generosity of donors impacted the lives of thousands of people in our community by:

  • Welcoming three new dogs to the program: TJ, DiJoe and Sami II.
  • Dedicating the H.N. & Frances C. Berger Foundation — Thomas & Joan Kalimanis K-9 Training Field to be used by our program and shared with local law enforcement K-9 programs. And because the field is now fully lit, we’ll have even more opportunities to train at night when temperatures are cooler.
  • Providing our team with a new K-9 trailer, featuring a secure travel cage, air conditioning and special safety features.
  • Opening a brand new K-9 agility obstacle training course so our teams are ready for any emergency.
  • Providing financial support for K-9 equipment, food, medical care and so much more!

HonorHealth Foundation - 2024 Impact Report - K-9 Security ProgramAbout HonorHealth’s K-9 Security Teams

You’ll find HonorHealth’s K-9 security teams at each of our six Valley-wide medical centers. The dogs are generally German Shepherds or Belgian Malinois.

Not every dog meets our high standards. Testing selection is done by the K-9 Supervisors/Trainers. Dogs are 15 months to two years of age and all commands are given in a foreign language, preventing any possibility that a dog might inadvertently obey English commands spoken by a bystander.

The selection process includes a week of testing, socialization and environmental awareness in a hospital atmosphere, including loud noises, obedience and deterrent testing. Unlike security dogs in some other healthcare systems, HonorHealth’s security dogs do not wear muzzles.

K-9 handlers and their dogs learn to become an effective K-9 security team during an intense, six-week K-9 academy at HonorHealth. The academy includes class time as well as practical field training on National Police Canine Association (NPCA) Obedience training and NPCA Handler Protection training.

At the end of the six-week academy, all K-9 teams must pass the NPCA Post AZ Standard Certification. These are the same standards used by all police agencies.

HonorHealth’s K-9 Program requires training two days per week. That includes practical training that incorporates working in a hospital environment, stress obedience with decoy, deterrent K-9 training, escorts with the K-9 and all potential hospital scenarios.

HonorHealth Foundation is grateful for your transformational investment in our community.

HonorHealth Foundation - 2024 Impact Report - K-9 Security Program - Brady“There have been multiple occasions where departments have called upon K-9 Brady to help the nursing staff decompress from extremely stressful situations. ICU, CVICU, Triage and the ER have had Brady help them de-stress. It takes about 15 minutes of having Brady in their presence for the staff to decompress and continue their shift with a smile on their faces. It is such a good feeling walking away from them knowing that Brady made their day.”

HonorHealth K-9 Supervisor

Download the K-9 Security Program Impact Report (PDF format)