Pup pup and away

April Fools! Wiltshire Air Ambulance is to make history by becoming the first air ambulance resource to employ a Critical Care Dog to assist at emergencies.

Saturday, 01 April 2023

A photoshopped Dachshund dangling from the Wiltshire AIr Ambulance helicopter

The charity has teamed up with Doghouse in Bradford-on-Avon to recruit their Dachshund Maude to attend incidents and bring comfort, relief and distraction to patients during their treatment and transfer to hospital. 

“It is widely documented that simply stroking a dog can immediately lower blood pressure and stress levels, so we feel very privileged that our Doghouse Dachshund Maude has been selected to train for this role,” says Ruth Warren, owner of the Doghouse. 

“We look forward to seeing her Air Ambulance career take flight over the weeks ahead.”

A photoshopped Dachshund wearing an orange flight suit in Wiltshire Air Ambulance's helicopter with two paramedics looking in

Maude’s slender size ensures she won’t take up valuable space onboard the charity’s Bell 429 helicopter. Although she will often land with our crews, she can also be easily lowered into emergencies as a first responder to bring calm to the injured if the aircrew need to find a safer landing spot further away.

“People may think we’re barking mad but it’s something we’ve been looking at for some time to enhance our service and patient care,” said a Wiltshire Air Ambulance spokesperson. “We do think Maude’s involvement will lead to a much-improved experience for our patients. 

“We can’t thank the Doghouse enough for allowing their trusty Dachshund to work with us and the people of Wiltshire and Bath will soon see Maude joining our aircrews for shifts in the weeks ahead, once she has been put through the relevant training.” 

Wiltshire Air Ambulance provides Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) to Wiltshire, Bath and surrounding areas. The charity needs to raise £4 million a year to continue its lifesaving work and receives no regular direct Government funding or National Lottery grants. 

Doghouse is a destination store combining a pet shop, dog grooming salon and café, with a flagship store at 1 Lamb Yard in Bradford-on-Avon (BA15 1PR) and its newest premises in Clifton, Bristol (BS8 4JH). 


Yes, of course it was all a prank for April Fools' Day! Wiltshire Air Ambulance may not be employing a Critical Care Dog, but we’d like to thank the wonderful staff at Doghouse in Bradford-on-Avon for lending us their Dachshund Maude for this joke. You can find out more about Doghouse by visiting their website here: www.doghouse.co.uk

A small Dachshund photoshopped on the Wiltshire Air Ambulance helipad, with the yellow and green helicopter in the background


Did you know?

It costs £4.5 million a year to keep the air ambulance flying. We receive no regular direct Government funding or National Lottery grants, so rely on generous donations from the public and local businesses to continue our lifesaving service.