Few people visit Las Vegas to meet dogs, but that was a highlight of my trip to The Strip this year.
Attending SuperZoo 2017, an annual pet-industry trade show featuring more products than you can dream of (check out round up one), was the main reason I flew to this land of lights and casinos. But whenever I can meet dogs (or horses or cats) I’m all in.
Fury and friendly? My attention’s diverted.
Zeus was one bright shiny object for me. Zeus is a member of the Mandalay Bay Canine Team. That’s right – this upscale hotel at the edge of the Las Vegas strip has its own explosive sniffing canine team – four trained dogs and handlers in total.
Zeus, a Belgian Malinois/German Shepherd cross originally born in Brazil, has worked with security officer and handler Bryan Wimber since 2013. Zeus (and Bryan) is remarkably friendly because meeting and greeting guests is part of his job.
Primarily though Zeus is there to sniff out explosive odors. He’s not a police attack dog. “If I see something going on,” Wimber says, “I’ll call someone. I’m not putting him in harm’s way. That’s not his job.”
Because of their focused role, all four members of the Mandalay Bay Canine Team, are pettable:
- Tucker, a Labrador Retriever, loves spending time in the pool
- Spike, a German Shepard born in Czechoslovakia, is a competition-winning dog despite being left with a limp after suffering a rare disease as a puppy
- Carlos, also a German Shepherd, is an all business K9 explosive detector dog but can be greeted and touched.
According to Mandalay Bay, the property provides these dogs and handlers at $85 per hour, with a two-hour minimum, “to search out dangers that could arrived during show load ins and deliveries as well as suspicious packages and materials that could be found within the show areas.” All four teams work at any MGM Resorts destinations.
At SuperZoo, Zeus was in his element among all the pet treats, toys, food … and other dogs. What caught his eye when I met him was a blue, pink and fluffy four-legged contestant headed to the grooming competition. Fortunately, nothing caught his nose, at least not that anyone knew of.
Is Mandalay Bay pet-friendly?
Unfortunately, Mandalay Bay is not a pet-friendly hotel, but competing Ceasars Entertainment properties are (for dogs under 50 pounds). Check out our round up of pet-friendly Vegas properties.
SuperZoo returns to Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada June 25 to 28, 2018.