DOGS TRAINED TO “SNIFF OUT” CANCER
WVUA 23 Reporter Kathryn Astle
TUSCALOOSA – It all started with a special little dachshund, named Penny. Even though Penny was rescued, after spending four years living in a chicken coop at a puppy mill, she was terrified of the world.
Her mom, Laurie Malone, explained Penny liked to explore the world through her nose. She began training Penny’s nose with scenting activities.
Malone said, “Watching the dogs and their scenting ability, I started reading into the ability of what else dogs could do with their scent ability”.
It changed her life.
Malone discovered dogs were capable detecting early cancer. She explained, “Dogs are capable, with over 90 percent accuracy, of finding cancer in human samples”.
Malone’s interest in dogs and cancer convinced her to visit California in October of 2016 to become a certified trainer with the Insitu Foundation. When she comes back, she’ll begin training dogs in the Birmingham area to sniff out cancer.
Malone said, “It will take 6 to 8 months to train the dogs to see which will participate in clinical trials”.
To support her journey, Laurie began the Sprout and Penny Canine Foundation, named after Penny and her Brother.
Malone said, “The Possibility of saving human lives using dogs is just blending my two passions”.
If all the research goes well, Penny and her owner will have helped introduce a new less-invasive way to detect early cancer.