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About the Pata D'Açúcar project

A challenge from a person with diabetes to a professional dog trainer led to the creation of this project.

The aim is to select and rescue dogs from animal shelters, look after them, train them, prepare them and give them away for free guardianship. In this way we can help people with diabetes to control and monitor their blood sugar.

The selection

At the end of each year, our Training Department and our Veterinary Department go to shelters for abandoned animals and administer a set of 12 specific tests to the canine community in order to obtain indicators of character, motivation and focus, as well as the necessary health conditions.

In all parameters, 100 per cent aptitude must be observed.

The rescue

After the complementary health diagnostic tests have been carried out, using partner services and with the approval of our Veterinary Department, the selected dogs are rescued and registered and sent to their future Guardians, who take on a participatory role in training the dogs under the guidance of our Training Department and with the help of the FATs that collaborate with the Project.

O treino

With animal welfare in mind, the training process begins as soon as the vaccination plan has been finalised. Once the socialisation and acclimatisation work has begun, we gradually move on to olfactory detection work, culminating in applied olfactory detection.

This basic work lasts approximately 8 months, although their training continues throughout their lives together with their Guardians.


Throughout the training process, our students are progressively exposed to the presence of people with diabetes so that they can gradually make the connection between their training and the “real world” they will encounter throughout their lives.

Attribution and adaptation

Once the basic training process has been completed, a guardianship contract is signed between the Pata D’Açúcar Association and the Guardian, giving the latter responsibility for the animal’s care and keeping the SIAC registration in the name of the Association in order to guarantee animal welfare.

The adaptation process is a continuous process throughout the dog’s training, always endeavouring to integrate the animal into its guardian’s daily life.


The guardianship of a DT1 Medical Alert Dog is an act of responsibility and commitment towards the animal and the Pata D’Açúcar Association, and should be considered responsibly.

The main purpose of the guardianship contract is to guarantee the animal’s well-being for the rest of its life and the permanent monitoring of the Association’s technical teams.

Failure to comply with the clauses of the contract will result in the DT1 Medical Alert Dog being immediately removed from the person’s guardianship and transferred to the Pata D’Açúcar Association.

The DT1 Medical Alert Dogs, trained by the Pata D’Açúcar Association, are monitored and gauged throughout their lives in order to guarantee levels of proficiency and olfactory ability, at no cost to their Guardian.

All the work involved in the Social Project is financially supported by our sponsors.

How can I apply?

To access the guardianship programme, 2 conditions are required:

  • Become a member
  • Being a person with Type 1 Diabetes

After registering as a member, the invitation to apply is sent automatically by email to members.

Become a member