K9 Medical Detection New Zealand Charitable Trust
Charitable Trust Registration
No: CC55179

About Us & Our Team

K9 Medical Detection New Zealand is a registered Charitable Trust comprising of a dedicated team working to improve the health of all New Zealanders by using specifically trained dogs working in a controlled clinical environment to assist in the detection of cancer and other diseases.


Cancers detected at an early stage are more likely to be treated successfully and starting the treatment while the cancer is small and confined greatly improves the survival rate. While we have sophisticated laboratory diagnostic tests for many cancers, some cancers a) have no screening b) are difficult to detect and c) get diagnosed at an extensive disease.


Many diseases and disease-causing agents give off volatiles (odours).  An alternative to molecular  and physical screening techniques is the use of medical detection dogs to identify these volatile organic compounds (VOC) released from tumours. By training dogs to detect these specific odours it is possible to minimise the spread of the disease and identify at-risk patients sooner. This enables earlier commencement of treatment potentially leading to improved patient outcomes.

The University of Otago is the research partner to K9 Medical Detection New Zealand. Professor Sarah Young is Academic Chair to a full clinical support team.


K9 Medical Detection New Zealand has a large training facility in Dunedin. Specifically designed scent detection equipment is used for their genetically selected working dogs. All training and testing is recorded into a specialised computer programme and analysed by Biostatistician Associate Professor Robin Turner. All training sessions are video recorded and each validation level is sent for peer review to an International canine scent detection expert in the United States.

K9 Medical Detection dogs are an additional valuable diagnostic tool in the growing battle against cancer and disease.

Meet the Team

Pauline Blomfield
Founder and Director of K9 Medical Detection NZ
With a passion for dogs spanning over thirty five years, Pauline is the author of three children’s dog safety books, a dog safety advocate and public speaker with a special interest in canine genetics and behaviour. For many years …
Read More »
Nita Harding
Veterinary Scientist
Nita is a New Zealand trained veterinarian who has worked in clinical practice and the livestock production industries in this country. She has special interests in animal welfare, biosecurity, and the interaction between animal health and human health. Her current work …
Read More »
Professor Sarah Young
Chair of K9MD's Academic Advisory Board and a member of the cancer team
Sarah is the Head of School, School of Medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia. Sarah gained her PhD in Immunology in 2000 and subsequently worked for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and Cancer Research UK, before returning to New Zealand Sarah's …
Read More »
Doctor Katrin Campbell
Research Fellow
Dr Katrin Campbell is a Research Fellow at K9MD. She compiled the K9MD research page. Dr Campbell's research interest focusses on the development of cancer immunotherapies. She is especially interested in understanding how the delivery form of immunotherapies influences their …
Read More »
Associate Professor Robin Turner
Robin is a biostatistician with research interests in the areas of diagnostic tests, patient followup and monitoring, patient preferences for treatment, decision aids, and the statistical methods underpinning these. Robin reviews and analyses recorded data from all K9MD training sessions and …
Read More »
Doctor Sharon Pattison
Sharon studied at University of Otago and University of Melbourne and was appointed as a Senior Lecturer, Department of Medicine, and also as Medical Oncologist, Southern District Health Board in 2016. Sharon has research interests in gastric cancer, colorectal …
Read More »
Karen Reader
Research Fellow
Karen is a reproductive biologist with broad interests in the areas of assisted reproductive technologies in humans and livestock, and ovarian and prostate cancer. Her research investigates the role of members of the transforming growth factor beta (TGFB) family …
Read More »
Steve White
International Canine Scent Detection Expert
In his 43rd year of a canine-centered law enforcement career, Steve White is the only person to have served as a handler, trainer, training sergeant, and supervisor for the Seattle Police Canine Unit. He specialises in the use of …
Read More »

Our Values

  • Professional in everything we say and do
  • Respectful of everyone
  • Ethical always acting with integrity
  • Innovation we challenge the status quo, in keeping with advances in science and medicine to continually improve the service provided
  • Excellence in the quality of the service we provide
site powered by - Turboweb :: Simple Web Manager