Welfare of our dogs and their handlers
We take the welfare of our Medical Detection Dogs extremely seriously. From the moment they come to us as puppies we ensure the highest standards of care for our dogs. We have a strict no kennel policy and all our dogs live in the homes of our staff or fantastic local volunteers where they are loved and cared for as part of the family.
In our study, the dogs will not be exposed to any infected people or materials. There is scientific evidence that shows dogs are not susceptible to the virus so if the dogs were to come into contact with an infected person, there is a very low risk to them.
Following their training on non-infectious samples the dogs will be able to detect the odour present in infected individuals without having any contact with those people. As part of the team we have a specialist Veterinary Epidemiologist and the dogs have an allocated Veterinarian who will ensure the welfare of the dogs is maintained. If the dogs were to come into contact with an infected person, there is a very low risk to them.
As the dogs will be working with samples that don’t contain live virus, we believe the risk to their trainers and fosterers to be minimal. Nevertheless, we have a strict protocol to minimise any risk there might be which involves socially distanced handover of dogs by their fosterer, changing collars and leads between fosterer and the training centre, and cleaning dogs on arrival and departure. Strict procedures will be followed when dogs are deployed which will follow best practice and veterinary advice.