The country's first mobile canine blood bank has been out on the road collecting vital veterinary supplies and looking for donors.
Pet Blood Bank UK, a Loughborough based charity, holds regular canine blood collection sessions at vet practices in its vicinity - check this link to find out when and where they are on. They are similar to the human blood donation service, collecting blood from volunteered doggy donors to supply to vets across the UK to ensure there is blood available for life saving blood transfusions.
If you would like your dog to be considered as a donor then you need to meet certain criteria - being up-to-date with vaccinations for instance.
Now there is a new specially designed trailer complete with weighing scales, television, waiting room and hydraulic table where donations are given - in addition to the sessions being run at vet practices. Dogs visiting the unit can expect dinner after, as well as a goody bag including toys to thank them for donating. This has been in the news as it made its first stop at Nottingham Vet School - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/petshealth/5356711/Blood-bank-for-dogs-looking-for-more-donors.html and it will be visiting vet schools throughout the country over coming months, giving vet students the chance to gain vital expertise. The new unit means collections can be made further afield from the charity's Loughborough headquarters, opening up the potential for donors. The blood, which needs to be processed quickly after it is given, need not be restricted by transit time, as it can start to be processed in the unit.
There's even a pilot scheme for cats, but it is planned vet nurses will visit the feline donors' homes - cats will be more settled and comfortable this way. Again, donors are being sought to join this scheme.
'Hundreds of lives are being saved each year' says Wendy Barnett from the charity. She hopes to attract more donors, as the blood goes out to meet vet practices' needs practically as soon as it comes in - it's an important resource to save pets' lives. Have a look at the website http://www.petbloodbankuk.org/ to find out more.