K-9 Blood Bank Seeking New Furry Donors

Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank in Purcellville is looking for furry blood donors to join its program amid a shortage.

“With COVID restrictions, staff shortages, and cancellations due to pet-owner sickness and exposure, our blood banks are at a breaking point,” the blood bank said in call for support.

With high demand for blood, many K-9 patients are on waitlists for certain blood types and products. Even before the pandemic, blood banks were struggling to keep up with demand.

But, blook bank staff members said that many of the patients in need do not have the luxury of waiting for blood. The blood is required for any number of reasons, including treatment of anemia, cancer, rat poison, heat stroke, burns, auto-immune disease, clotting deficiencies, and traumatic accidents.

The blood bank regularly serves more than 300 pet veterinary hospitals, and has as many as 300 additional hospitals calling throughout the year to access the blood supply.

Program Director Jocelyn Pratt said that the experience is a positive one for families and for their four-legged friends. 

“Dogs are very treat-motivated and positive-reinforcement motivated. Positive experience for them, we get to know them see what they like and don’t like. We go at their pace and make sure they’re comfortable,” Pratt said. 

Pratt said that the blood bank team gets to know each dog to learn their likes and dislikes, to make their time at the blood bank full of fun and engaging play.

“We have over 350 donors so if that doesn’t tell you we’re doing something fun I don’t know what will,” she said.

Dogs who donate blood are treated to a free day of doggie daycare, and receive discounts at the vet and pet resort.  And Pratt said donating has advantages for donor families. 

“They get a big panel of bloodwork done, which is a big value. We tend to find lumps and bumps and ‘oh they’ve got a weird little skintag here,’ and otherwise they might not find that,” Pratt said.

To join the program, dogs must be 1 to 7 years old, healthy, current on vaccinations, and weigh over 40 pounds. The process begins with an initial screening. Once they’re approved, they do a health program with a veterinarian. 

Families must be willing to donate every six to eight weeks, for a minimum commitment of one year, although many families stay with the program for several years.

To learn at wbrvbb.com

2 thoughts on “K-9 Blood Bank Seeking New Furry Donors

  • 2022-02-02 at 4:48 pm
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    Man’s best friend is an important component of life in Loudoun. Pets brighten & extend the lives of so many Loudouners. I hope all eligible dogs will participate in this worthy endeavor. Goodness knows when a pooch might need their own infusion of blood. Happy Valentine’s Day Loudoun!

  • 2022-02-03 at 8:20 pm
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    Dogs cannot give permission to give blood, but taking it from them is OK? Does that mean aborting a dog’s litter is OK? What if it is in the best interest of the mother? Or if the litter was the product of rape? I’m so confused. I want to applaud this story but I feel like it is in violation of the dog’s body autonomy. Has anyone asked the dog about their lived experience and their truth?

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