Trained dog has the special ability to detect early stages of cancer

(WXYZ) - As soon as Wyatt strutted into Detroit Fire Department Engine 40 in Detroit, he captivated all of the firefighters inside.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback has the special ability to detect if you have very early stages of cancer.

"What we have learned in the past two years is that all of these diseases that take place in your body start with inflammation first. Those cells have an odor. Those odors… the dogs can detect," said Cindy Ell, founder of Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation.

"I figure sooner or later I'm going to be able to help somebody here in Detroit, my family, the guys that I work with here on a daily basis… each and everybody here we are all family," said firefighter John Plieth. "So if I can help one of these guys or myself or someone in my family… just one of them."

Plieth is also the president of the Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation.

He helped bring Wyatt to Engine 40 Thursday morning.

According to Ell, these types of trained dogs are more than 99% effective at sniffing out sicknesses as low as stage zero.

"He has saved several lives already, yes," said Ell. "Mine, being one of them. He actually found a stage one melanoma on my arm three months ago at our first meeting.  That was totally unplanned and it made me a believer."

Wyatt spent about an hour wandering a room inside Engine 40 sniffing around for hits.

"I guess he detected something from my mouth and that's why she said he licked my nose and it could be from a previous treatment from breast cancer or something like that but that's gone because she said he would have gone toward my breast but he didn't," said fire engine operator Verdine Day. "So, I'm going to the doctor to have it checked out."

There is no program in place to bring a dog like Wyatt here to Detroit and help firefighters but the foundation is hoping to raise enough donations to bring a dog like Wyatt to Michigan  not only to help firefighters, but paramedics and police."


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