A K-9 who spent his working life protecting others at a Knoxville hospital and bringing an extra level of care with local law enforcement has entered retirement.

The University of Tennessee Medical Center was the first in the state to implement a K-9 program back in 2014. The dogs are specially trained to patrol the premises with their Knoxville police handlers.

Cane started out patrolling UT Medical Center and parking lots. Officers said, even for a dog, Cane maintained a high level of professionalism. 

He also knew how to be everyone's best friend. Cane and his team would spend time with hospital staff and patients for therapeutic value.

Brian Hitch, UTMC's director of security, said Cane could sense when someone needed love. Now that he's in retirement, he will be getting a lot of love in return.

"Cane will always be a part of the UT Medical Center family. We consider him an officer of security even though he is retired and in a good home now... a good loving home," he said.

One of the dispatchers familiar with the K-9 teams stepped up to adopt Cane and give him a forever home.

Cane is the third K-9 who has retired from the UTMC security program.