Mariners' K9 force honored with baseball cards

SEATTLE -- If you've been to a Mariners game you've probably seen them. They're the cutest and most adored law enforcement officers at Safeco Field. Bomb-sniffing dogs do important work and the Mariners aren't taking it for granted.

Just like the professional baseball players, the K9 officers at the ballpark are now on baseball cards. The cards are letting fans know a little more about members of the four-legged security force and all they do behind the scenes.

As the Mariners geared up for Wednesday's game, a Springer Spaniel named Chase and a Golden Retriever named Dennis were also hard at work.

"It's like a light switch," explained Seattle police officer Craig Williamson. "He can do his job when he's being asked to and he can also be a social dog."

Dennis is a five-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department and Chase has been training with King County deputies since 2011.

"As much as he loves attention, if people put their hand out to try to pet him … he will just duck it or avoid it," Deputy Jonathan Akiona said. "That's telling me that he is working."

The work is serious business -- protecting the massive crowd the stadium can hold. A total of three dogs are at the stadium hours before the first hot dog and beer are sold.

"We smell chili … [the dogs] smell everything down to the finest spices that you use," said Akiona.

The dogs' payments include food and toys. And when they're not working -- love and attention from fans. The Mariners say the baseball cards allow deputies and police officers to connect with some of the youngest Mariners fans -- or let's face it -- anyone who loves dogs.

"We're here to make sure everyone has a fun experience at Safeco Field," said Williamson. "I can't imagine doing anything else. He's a great dog."

Fans are encouraged to meet officers at the stadium and ask them for a baseball card. You can collect all four.


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