Milton Keynes Medical Detection Dogs has been honoured for its work in training dogs to help diagnose and protect their owners in their homes.
The charity, which trains dogs to help people with life threatening health conditions, won the Best Service award at the annual Burgess Wetnose Animal Rescue Awards in Knightsbridge this week.
The detection dogs are taught to identify the odour changes that are associated with certain medical events. For example, for someone living with diabetes, symptoms can vary from confusion to seizures or comas and be life threatening.
Once trained, they recognise blood sugar levels outside the normal range and warn their owners or get help. They will bring their owner any necessary medical supplies, such as glucose and blood testing kits. They can also be trained to push alarm buttons.
Claire Akehurst, who collected the award on behalf of the charity, said: “It’s such a privilege to receive this award from Wetnose.
“It will raise greater awareness of our mission which will allow us to continue training the dogs and also research other medical conditions that they may be able to help detect. We can’t thank you enough for recognising all our work.”
And Andrea Gamby-Boulger, director of Wetnose Animal Aid, added: “We are delighted to have held the fourth annual Burgess Wetnose Animal Rescue Awards to support the fantastic work that rescue centres across the UK are doing, under the radar and a lot of the time without any recognition or thanks.
“The work these independent rescue centres do is crucial for animals around the UK, and some of the rescue stories we’ve heard today really prove how worthwhile their work is. I’d also like to thank all the celebrities who attended; their support in raising awareness of this issue is invaluable.”
To find out more on the awards, visit www.wetnoseanimalaid.com