Not your usual Blood-hound: The Kennel Club celebrates brave dog donors on World Blood Donor Day

On World Blood Donor Day (14 June), The Kennel Club and The Kennel Club Charitable Trust are celebrating dogs whose life-saving blood donations help thousands of seriously injured pets in need and hopes to raise awareness about the importance of canine blood donations.

As veterinary medicine advances and new treatments are discovered, the demand for blood continues to grow. Like people, sick and injured pets need blood transfusions; these are equally important for veterinary professionals fighting to save pets lives as human donations are for doctors. Donated blood is used in regular surgeries as well as in emergency situations, and in many cases can be lifesaving for dogs and cats across the UK.

Six-year-old Labrador Retriever Red from Northumberland regularly donates blood to help seriously injured pets or those undergoing surgery. He has been donating since he was one and recently completed his 15th donation. His donations have potentially helped to save up to 60 much-loved dogs.

His owner Ali Scott commented: “I love that Red can donate and help save lives of other dogs. He donates about four times a year and continued to do so throughout the pandemic. It was different because we couldn’t accompany him inside the clinic, but the staff were amazing and he got lot of treats for his bravery!”

Nine-year-old rescue Greyhound Ringo is a retired dog blood donor living with his owner Sarah Candy in Bedfordshire former finalist of The Kennel Club Friends for Life competition, Ringo is an ex-racing Greyhound and used to be a regular blood donor at the Royal Veterinary College in Hertfordshire. Ringo used to donate every eight weeks for many years, keeping up with his donations even through the pandemic, before he retired last year as he reached the maximum age for donating.

Ringo’s owner Sarah,who adopted Ringo from the Greyhound Trust said: “I think it is very important people learn more about dog blood donations and why they matter. Dogs fall ill just like us humans do, and they need transfusions. For many people dogs are more than pets, they are members of the family, and they deserve to be looked after and cared for just like humans do.”

Alison Daltrey from Suffolk, who owns two Newfoundlands, four-year-old Simba and three-year-old Storm, has recently enrolled her dogs in the donor program.

Alison commented on the reasons for singing up her dogs for blood donations: “I think it is important for our dogs to donate blood when possible, just like their humans do – I have donated 34 times. I know from a personal experience how important blood donations are, because our previous dog needed blood infusions after operation. We wanted to repay the kindness and contribution of other dogs and that is why we signed up Simba and Storm to donate. And they also absolutely love the attention!”

The Kennel Club Charitable Trust supports dog health, welfare and rescue organisations as well as research projects into canine diseases aiming to improve dog health for generations to come. Many dogs taken into care by rescue organisations supported by The Kennel Club Charitable Trust are often in need of urgent veterinary care and rely on blood transfusions when undergoing surgery. The charity also supports veterinary organisations and has in the past supported PDSA, which provides urgent veterinary care for all pets in the UK.

“Dog blood donations are crucial in saving the lives of much-loved pets every day,” commented Reverend Bill King, Chairman of The Kennel Club Charitable Trust. ”We hope that this World Donor Day will raise awareness of these hero dog donors, and encourages owners to think about ways their own dog can get involved and be a life-saver.

“Stories like these show that dogs from all walks of life can become regular blood donors and save lives of dozens of dogs and even cats. The Kennel Club Charitable Trust regularly supports numerous canine health organisations that rely on blood donations and we are pleased to share the stories of those brave dogs out there supporting the future health and lives of all dogs in the UK.”

The Kennel Club Charitable Trust supports vital health, welfare and rescue organisations across the UK as well as important clinical research into canine health.
For out more and donate to The Kennel Club Charitable Trust.