Medical Detection Dogs charity receives donation to help its canines sniff out Covid-19

A charity that trains dogs to sniff out human diseases - hopefully including Covid-19 - has received a donation from Amazon.

By Sally Murrer
Wednesday, 19th August 2020, 12:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th August 2020, 12:06 pm

The Amazon fulfilment centre in MK gave £1,000 to locally-based Medical Detection Dogs.

The charity trains dogs to detect the odour of human disease, with the aim of improving diagnosis and is at the forefront of the research into the fight against cancer.

Bio Detection Dogs sniff samples to detect cancer, malaria, Parkinson’s and other diseases.

Medical detection dog Asher sniffs some samples

The charity provides Medical Alert Assistance Dogs to live with individuals with complex health conditions such as Type 1 diabetes, Addisons and severe allergies.

They detect minute changes in their personal odour and alert them to an impending medical event. These dogs keep clients safe and out of hospital and give them back their confidence and independence.

Amazon's donation will allow the charity to continue to train Bio Detection Dogs and Medical Alert Assistance Dogs.

It will also help with the latest investigation and training to discover whether Bio Detection Dogs can be trained to detect Covid-19.

The donation was made as part of the ‘Amazon in the Community’ programme, whereby the company supports the communities around its operating locations across the UK.

Shauli Ziv, general manager at Amazon in Milton Keynes, said: “It’s amazing just how much dogs can assist with human health. We are proud to make this donation to Medical Detection Dogs, as not only do they carry out high level research and training, they also take the welfare of the dogs extremely seriously.”

Andrew Whitby-Collins, chief operating officer at Medical Detection Dogs, added: “This donation will allow us to continue our research into a dog’s ability to detect minute odour traces created by diseases. We are very grateful to Shauli and his team for supporting our dogs, our research and our cause.”

Community donations is one of a number of ways in which Amazon is supporting communities across the UK during COVID-19.

Amazon has joined a coalition of companies, universities, and research institutions to boost testing capacity for COVID-19. Amazon’s logistics network, along with Royal Mail, will deliver test kits to critical workers and diagnostic sites set up around the UK.

Amazon is also providing free online STEM resources to students in lower-income communities to enable learning to continue during school closures and is working with charity partner Magic Breakfast to ensure they can continue to provide free breakfast provisions to children in disadvantaged areas.