Dogs & Cats Give The Gift Of Life

Wednesday, November 21st 2007, 5:00 pm
By: News On 6

We've all heard that donated blood saves human lives. The same thing is true for dogs and cats. The News On 6’s Rick Wells reports Tulsa is home to a veterinary blood bank.

Tracy Hendrickson, who operates Companion Pets Veterinary Blood Bank, visits Forest Trails Animal Hospital on Wednesday to draw some blood from her 6-year-old boxer, Wilson. There are no rubber bands around the leg, no squeezing a ball. There’s just a stick in the neck that Wilson doesn't seem to mind.

“He's getting his head scratched his ears scratched, his face scratched. He could care less, and he's saving a life in the process," said Laura Kyle, the president of Boxer Rescue.

Wilson is a six year old and has been a blood donor for five years. For humans it's 56 days between donations, for dogs it's about half that time.

When Wilson's finished donating, he gets treats just like we do when we give blood.

As with human blood, there are different blood products. Cats can also be blood donors. Tracy Hendrickson’s service is the primary supplier of blood products to a four state area. She estimates the service has saved the lives of a thousand pets.

“I can brag and say we can get a unit of blood within an hour to any vet hospital in Tulsa,” said Tracy Hendrickson.

Tulsa veterinarian, Dr. Paul Welch says the service saves time, money and more importantly, it saves lives.

"Tulsa has some wonderful things. This is one of the blessings we have for the animals," said Dr. Paul Welch.

To learn more about pet blood donation, click here.

Watch the video: Dogs In The Donation Line