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Donor Dogs Give the Gift of Life
Date:4/18/2008

dogs, once they pass the physical. A typical donation yields a 500 milliliter (one pint) volume of blood per visit, she said.

Animal blood banks are also concerned with the feline veterinary blood supply. At Midwest, these donations come from a group of hard-to-place cats that have been brought to the center from area shelters. "These cats stay and live and work with us as donors, and we eventually adopt them out," Hale explained.

"Of course, cats are also not the most willing donors -- what a shock," she said. "So all of our cats donate under anesthesia. We do that because it's less stressful for them."

According to Hale, the cat-adoption rate at Midwest is now more than 80 percent. "A lot of the time, these cats that were kind of thrown away by the system actually just needed a little more time to adjust, to have a behavior issue dealt with or to clean up a health problem," she said.

And does donating blood hurt an animal? Not at all, according to all the humans involved.

JJ and Logan -- who stopped donating this year after they reached the cut-off age of 8 -- never seemed to mind, Goriss said. "I don't think it hurt them. You are just sitting there petting them, keeping them calm," she said.

Goriss, who owns and manages Family Dog Central, a local doggy day-care service, said that in many cases, pet owners stand to benefit directly from signing their pet up for donation.

"If God forbid something happened to my dog -- he was hit by a car or something and needed a blood transfusion -- I have some [stored at Sun States] and I can get it for free," she noted. "And they also test the blood, so that if something was wrong with your dog you would know."

She and Hale advised all dog owners to consider providing the gift of life to other animals in need.

"I think that it would be great if anyone who is interested contacted their local veterinarian," Hale said. "Their vet s
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