11 March 2014 - 15:28
Duchess of Cornwall becomes patron to Medical Detection Dogs organisation


The Duchess of CornwallThe Duchess of Cornwall continues to show her consideration and love for animals with her newest choice of patronage. Today the Duchess becomes patron to the charity Medical Detection Dogs.

Medical Detection Dogs is a non-profit charity organisation that trains canines to detect human disease through smell. With correct training, dogs can warn their owners when they are on the point of having an episode such as an epileptic seizure or a drop in blood sugar. This allows individuals to prepare themselves and manage their medical conditions effectively, while achieving peace of mind.

Some dogs involved in the charity are also used to assist scientists in cancer detection research. To help generate revenue for the charity, Medical Detection Dogs also train Bedbug Scent Detection Dogs to help find and alleviate a bedbug presence before it becomes an infestation. This is useful not only in homes and lodgings, but also in transport areas where bedbugs can easily transfer such as on aeroplanes and trains.

The charity covers the cost of each dog’s process in becoming a Medical Detection Dog including training, food, veterinarian visits, insurance, and equipment needed up until the dog is placed with a client. The cost of caring for and training a Medical Alert Assistance Dog for their lifetime is estimated to be 11,000 pounds. Currently Medical Detection Dogs is overseeing 30 canines that have been placed with volunteers during the course of their training. Over 40 people in need are on the waiting list to receive a trained dog. The website warns that time spent on the wait list can reach up to three years. While the organisation itself is based out of the village of Great Horwood in Buckinghamshire, its work covers all of England, Scotland, and Wales.


The charity has needs to continue performing their work, including recruiting volunteers, fundraising, and community outreach. It is likely that with a new royal patron, awareness will increase and public interest in assisting will be generated. Director of Operations and CEO Claire Guest said of the announcement: “We are absolutely delighted that Her Royal Highness has agreed to become patron of Medical Detection Dogs. Her support will be invaluable for a groundbreaking and innovative charity such as ours, to promote the work we do, supporting those with life threatening health conditions and advancing cancer detection work through odour. Her appointment will be warmly welcomed by our staff and volunteers and I hope that Her Royal Highness will find her involvement with us extremely rewarding.”

Camilla has long expressed her compassion for animals through her choice of charities. This patronage marks the 11th of her supported animal-related organisations. Other charities she aids include the Animal Care Trust and the Ebony Horse Club.

Her patronage of Medical Detection Dogs will formally commence today, Tuesday 11 March, during a reception being held at St James’s Palace. The Prince of Wales is expected to attend with The Duchess of Cornwall.

photo credit: The Big Lunch via photopin cc

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