A Kent-based yard stepped in to help a charity continue its vital training during lockdown.

Covid restrictions have left specialist diabetic alert dog charity Hypo Hounds struggling to find public locations to take their puppies in training.

It is important for the charity’s young dogs to experience as wide an environment as possible, so they can be properly prepared for their future roles, but recent circumstances have made this difficult.

However, Wyatt Equestrian based in Benenden came to the charity’s aid and offered a bespoke training package, which the charity were delighted to accept.

Hypo Hound puppies Simba, Narla and Poppy (PJ) aged 6 months, who are destined to help children with diabetes, were taken to the yard for a session with Head Trainer Steve Dean and Chief Executive Jane Pearman.

They were given the chance to meet the horses who were equally as curious as the dogs.

“I am delighted to have played a minimal part in helping these amazing puppies with their socialisation training,” said Mr Wyatt-Hughes, owner of Wyatt Equestrian.

“With the yard on lockdown it provided the charity with an ideal safe environment to get the puppies used to horses in a controlled manner. Of course the humans socially-distanced, but we wanted the animals to do the exact opposite!

“As an essential service it is so important that these amazing puppies get to experience everything they possibly can. They all did so well and I look forward to following their training journey.”

Mr Dean added that the valuable visit ensured the puppies were not held back in their progress.

“Throughout lockdown our essential services have still gone ahead with strict covid policies in place so as not to hinder the puppies training,” he said.

“A delay in training would not only cost the charity thousands but also postpone these amazing dogs going to their child clients who are eagerly awaiting their arrival.”

Ms Pearman thanked Wyatt Equestrian for their kindness in allowing the charity to continue its programme.

“The needs of our clients haven’t changed and we can’t afford to delay our provision programme,” she said.

“We look forward to when we can safely take our pups into care settings and hospitals to give everyone some much needed puppy cuddles.”

Hypo Hounds is keen to hear from other settings who may be able to offer socialising and training opportunities for their puppies, who are scheduled to be placed with a child with Type-1 diabetes by the autumn.