From Left to Right.

Dawn Bushell,  Steve Dennis – Head Trainer & Trustee, Nick Bushell, Jane Pearman CEO and Founder, Peter Rhodes, Shirley Rhodes. Mick Bullen Trainer. Scooby!

On Saturday the 31st of August 2019 the Hypo Hounds Charity in Smarden, opened their doors to celebrate the launch of their new premises. The open day was made possible from money donated by Tesco through their ‘blue token’ scheme. The day was opened by the Mayor of Ashford, Councillor Mrs Jenny Webb.

HypoHounds was set up to help children and adults with Type 1 Diabetes whose pet dogs have the potential to become a diabetic alert dog. Certain dogs have such sensitive noses that they can be trained to detect dangerous changes in their owners’ blood sugar levels. By alerting their owners or their families to these changes in blood sugar levels, diabetic alert dogs can prevent potentially life-threatening hypoglycaemic attacks.


Diabetic alert dogs can also detect potential episodes of hyperglycaemia (known as hypers) when blood sugar levels are too high. The dogs are able to detect these changes through the persons breath.

Hypo Hounds was set up three years ago and to date, they have trained over forty-five dogs at a cost of £25,000 per dog. Today, the demand for dog training has increased so significantly that they are often unable to accept everyone onto the programme.

Representing the Province of East Kent were Richard Wingett, Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Peter Rhodes, Provincial Grand Charity Steward and Nick Bushell, Craft Charity Co-ordinator for Area Group 6. Peter and Nick presented a cheque to the Charity CEO Mrs Jane Pearman on behalf of the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

Jane said ‘it was through the imagination and generosity of the Freemasons and other like-minded people and organisations that they are able to carry on the life-saving work that they do’.

A demonstration of the amazing skill of these dogs was provided by ‘Scooby’, the first dog trained and is in fact owned by Jane, the CEO of the Charity, as her daughter Sophie, who is now 15, is diabetic.

 After the demonstration and whilst talking to them both, Scooby starting indicating by barking at Sophie. Upon checking her blood sugar levels, she found that they were now high and requiring an insulin adjustment. Just being in the proximity of Sophie, Scooby was able to detect this change in Sophie before she had even realised.  

For further information, please go to