A police puppy which will be trained to “sniff out” cancer has been gifted to a charity.
Copper, a cocker spaniel, was given to Cancer and Bio-detection Dogs, which trains dogs to detect the scent of cancer from urine samples. The dogs can also be trained to help people with diabetes by picking up the odour of changes in insulin levels before alerting owners to potential hypoglycaemic attacks.
Copper was born as part of Strathclyde Police’s puppy breeding programme and begins her new life with the Buckinghamshire-based charity today. She is one of a litter of seven pups and her brothers and sisters will begin their regular police dog training in a year.
Strathclyde Police dog training sergeant Tracy Reid said: “Our breeding programme has been very successful. We have had 14 puppies born this year alone including this litter, so we are pleased to be in a position to contribute to a worthy cause by donating one of our dogs. Copper is inquisitive and has lots of energy so we hope she sails through the training.”
Claire Guest, founder of Cancer and Bio-detection Dogs, said: “We are very grateful for the support Strathclyde Police has given to our charity and the force’s generous offer of a working cocker spaniel from the breeding programme.”
The charity published a joint study in the British Medical Journal in 2004 which showed for the first time that dogs can be trained to identify the odour of bladder cancer within urine. The finding opened the way for the new method of diagnosing bladder cancer, which was simple, quick and non-invasive.