Blood Donor Dogs Help Save Other Dogs’ Lives

Monday, April 18th 2016, 10:52 pm
By: News 9

They might be human's best friends, but dogs can be heroes to one another. Like people, canines need blood transfusions, but only other dogs can donate to help.

Brody didn't always have much energy. During a routine neutering something went wrong. He needed blood fast.

Luckily, a nearby clinic had a donor on call and a rotating list of nine dogs that can donate blood at any time. Judy Chura-Suchara's pit-bull "Zuka" has gotten the call at 2 a.m.

"It was bad, he was near death," said Chura-Suchara. "I told her you're going to save someone's life tonight and she does and it's great."

The blood is only good for about 30 days. So, many small clinics around the country struggle to keep enough on hand. Most pet owners don't realize their dog could be a candidate.

They need to be between 50 and 100 pounds, fit not under or over weight, and undergo routine exams," said veterinarian Frank Puccio.

They must also have a universal blood type. Big dogs like a German Shepard are usually the best donors. The whole process takes 15 minutes, and pups get a cookie at the end. Their good deeds keep dogs like Brody alive.

There are commercial blood banks and some universities have set up blood donor programs. If you're interested in your dog becoming a donor, just ask your local veterinarian for information on screening.

Click here to learn more about the program.