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Two Decades Since 9/11: Penn Vet’s Working Dog Center Launches Tribute Video

Penn Vet's Working Dog Center has launched a new video, “Two Decades Since 9/11: A Tribute.”

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With impressive accuracy, dogs can sniff out coronavirus

Many long for a return to a post-pandemic “normal,” which, for some, may entail concerts, travel, and large gatherings. But how to keep safe amid these potential public health risks?

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Dr. Cynthia M. Otto Named Professor of Working Dog Sciences and Sports Medicine

The School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Vet) has named Cynthia M. Otto, DVM, PhD, professor of Working Dog Sciences and Sports Medicine in the Department of Clinical Sciences and Advanced Medicine.

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Sniffing for science

Bonnie, a sleek border collie mix, is practically vibrating with excitement. After getting a signal to start her search, her owners release her. She bounds, snuffling and wriggling, to a stainless-steel wheel, roughly 4 feet in diameter, with 12 numbered ports along its edge. Upon locating her target, she crouches down to signal her find, only to spring back up as she hears a mechanical click and cries of, “Good girl! Well done!” She finds her owner to receive a treat, and then gets ready to do it all over again.

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Dr. Cynthia Otto awarded for her work with the human-animal bond

Dr. Cynthia Otto, founder and executive director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center at the University of Pennsylvania, has been named the winner of the 2018 Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award.

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How working dogs are sniffing out cancer

At Penn, collaboration is as ingrained in the culture as innovation. And, it turns out, some teams end up having quite the crew. One specific group—working to detect early stage ovarian cancer—maintains experts spanning obstetrics and gynecology, chemistry, physics, and veterinary care. It also includes human’s best furry friends: dogs.

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Can Canines Sniff Out Smuggled Artifacts?

Red Arch Cultural Heritage Law & Policy Research and the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Vet Working Dog Center, in collaboration with the Penn Museum (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology), have launched the K-9 Artifact Finders research program. The project aims to fight cultural heritage crime with the help of working dogs.

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Penn Vet Working Dog Center to Celebrate Five-Year Anniversary with Ceremony and Live Demonstrations

The Penn Vet Working Dog Center, widely recognized as the nation’s premier research and training facility dedicated to the health and performance of detection dogs, will celebrate its five-year anniversary on Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.

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Working Dog Center adds full-time law enforcement trainer

Bob Dougherty, who served for three decades as a police K9 officer for Cheltenham Township, recently joined the Penn Vet Working Dog Center as a full-time law enforcement trainer to enhance the Center’s teaching resources for police dogs and their handlers.

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German Shepherd First to Graduate from Penn Vet Working Dog Center Patrol School for Law Enforcement K9s

German Shepherd Rookie, at 19 months of age, is the first dog to graduate from the new Penn Vet Working Dog Center Patrol School. Previously, all law enforcement K9s from the Center attended patrol school at other facilities.

New Graduates of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center Aid SEPTA Police Force, Search and Rescue Teams

A new group of canine graduates from the Penn Vet Working Dog Center has officially entered the workforce, using scent-detection skills to aid in public safety. Graduates include:

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Novel canine scent detection program holds promise in PA’s fight against Spotted Lanternfly

A new pilot training program from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) points to a promising solution in Pennsylvania’s efforts to thwart the Spotted Lanternfly. By utilizing scent detection dogs to identify Spotted Lanternfly egg masses, Penn Vet researchers hope to proactively neutralize the destructive insects before they become a fully realized threat as a mature adult.

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Penn Vet Launches COVID-19 Canine Scent Detection Study

A pilot training program utilizing scent detection dogs to discriminate between samples from COVID-19 positive and COVID-19 negative patients is the focus of a new research initiative at Penn Vet.

Penn Vet Working Dog Center, Penn Physics, Penn Medicine, and Monell Chemical Senses Center Receive $80K Grant to Fund Study of Ovarian Cancer Detection by its Odorant Signature Using Dogs and E-Sensors

In a unique, interdisciplinary collaboration, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s Working Dog Center, Penn Physics Department, Penn Medicine’s Division of Gynecologic Oncology, and the Monell Chemical Senses Center have joined together to study ovarian cancer detection by dogs and e-sensors. A grant of $80,000 from Kaleidoscope of Hope Ovarian Cancer Foundation has been awarded to fund this collaborative project, which will investigate using canine olfaction, along with chemical and nanotechnology analysis, to detect early stage ovarian cancer.

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Assets in the opioid epidemic, working dogs can also become its victims

It’s hard to overstate the magnitude of the nation’s opioid crisis, which claims more than 100 lives each day due to overdoses. The impact of opioids radiates beyond the direct users, however, as secondary exposure to drugs can harm first responders such as police officers, firefighters, and even working dogs, which can use their perceptive noses to find illicit drugs.

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Recent grad Meghan Ramos helps people by training animals

“Go, Osa!” says Meghan Ramos, a recent graduate of Penn’s Veterinary Medicine program. Osa, a German shepherd, runs over to a wheel, carefully sniffing one of eight arms that extend from the scent wheel’s center. At the end of each arm is a blood serum that contains either malignant or benign ovarian cancer, a normal, cancer-free serum, or a distractor scent. Osa’s trained to detect blood serums that contain malignant ovarian cancer.

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The Nose Knows: Sniffing Out Cancer at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center

It’s so quiet you could hear a pin drop. The only sound is that of a Springer Spaniel methodically sniffing twelve ports on a stainless steel wheel. Suddenly he stops and sits.

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Fit to Work: A Police Dog's Story of Recovery

Ever since Rocky and Jenkintown Police Sergeant Richard Tucker were paired as working K9 and handler, Sergeant Tucker knew he could rely on his dog completely. But when Rocky became critically ill, Sergeant Tucker realized just how deep his bond was with his dog.