Dogs have been known to help humans in situations like sniffing out explosive devices, pests, narcotics, natural disasters, cancer, and more. Now, they’re being trained to sniff out those that are infected by certain viruses.
Training Dogs to Detect Health Problems
A medical charity located in England was able to successfully train dogs to detect malaria, and they are now the ones working on training them to identify specific virus strains. The charity is called Medical Detection Dogs, and they have partnered with the Tropical Medicine and Hygiene School in London as well as Durham University. They’re beginning dog training for the job.
Dr. Claire Guest is a behavioral psychologist, as well as a principal member of the medical charity. She believes that this is a rigorously scientific approach and that there is no reason why dogs can’t detect viruses.
Previous Success Due to the Research
The charity itself has produced many peer-reviewed papers based on their work with training dogs to detect Parkinson’s disease, cancer, as well as malaria — all by using their sense of smell. The goal of this training is for dogs to have the ability to screen anyone — from those that are asymptomatic to those that are showing symptoms. This can help determine whether or not the human needs to be tested, which can save on resources as they are often limited.
Most respiratory diseases can change our body odor, which means that there is a high chance dogs can smell and detect it. This can be a tool that could revolutionize response efforts for many viruses.
A Golden Retriever named Kiwi had an 80% success rate at detecting prostate cancer in humans just by sniffing them.
One Man Has Saved Over 150 Farm Animals After Opening A Sanctuary
Back in 2017, Christopher Vane did something special to honor his late mother. He opened up a sanctuary for farm animals where they could live out the rest of their days in comfort. Since then, more than 150 creatures have found their way to him, and it’s saved their lives.
A Shared Love
Christopher has always had a deep love for animals, partly because his mom was so passionate about them herself. For the longest time, he wanted to do something to help, which is how Little Bear Sanctuary came to exist. It was sad for Vane to lose his mom just a few months before the place opened, but he knew she’d be proud of him. After all, he was giving back to the animals that both of them loved so much.
A Second Chance
The sanctuary is home to a number of different species, including sheep, cows, goats, and even a tortoise. Around half of its inhabitants are pigs, including Willy, the sanctuary’s very first resident. The majority of the animals here were destined for slaughter, but thankfully, Christopher gave them a second chance of life. Now, while they might still be scarred by their traumatic pasts, at least they have an opportunity to be happy.
Money Vs. Happiness
Although the sanctuary doesn’t make any money, Vane isn’t bothered by the lack of income. Going outside and seeing his animals free to roam the 30-acre property gives him all the satisfaction he needs. Of course, if he wants to keep opening the sanctuary’s doors to new inhabitants, he does need some money coming in. That’s why he set up a GoFundMe so that anyone who wants to help out with the expansion project can do their bit. So far, $15,000 of the $55,000 goal has been raised.
It’s nice to see these farm animals getting another shot at happiness. We’re so grateful for what Christopher’s doing.