Family & Pets

“Have a Heart” Canine Blood Drive Coming February 11

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credit: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

credit: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

The group known as ACCES (Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services) will be hosting the “Have a Heart” canine blood drive on Saturday, February 11 from 10:00am to 1:00pm at Paws-Abilities in Fife (7338 26th Street East, Fife, WA 98424). This one-day effort will help secure much needed blood for our four-legged companions while shining a light on the importance of this life-saving pet program.

“Pets can require a blood transfusion for many of the same reasons humans do, such as injuries, surgeries, or when diseases cause the body to destroy its own blood cells,” said ACCES Blood Bank director Allison Dietz. “The ACCES Blood Bank relies on our invaluable dog and cat donors to help provide the blood needed to save these animals lives.”

Founded in 2004, the ACCES Blood Bank currently provides high-quality blood products to more than 20 veterinary hospitals across Puget Sound as well as a handful of hospitals throughout the U.S. The availability of blood is made possible by the blood bank’s nearly 145 volunteer dog and cat donors who donate once every two to three months annually. In 2011, this translated into more than 1,000 life-saving transfusions.

Dietz says, “As demand for blood products often outweighs supply, the ACCES Blood Bank is frequently called upon to reach out to the community and increase this essential donor pool. Through our partnership with Paws-Abilities, we hope to identify and encourage participation from a new group of pet owners.

“We are excited to partner with the ACCES Blood Bank for the “Have a Heart” blood drive,” said Paws-Abilities manager Jennifer Babb. “This unique event will not only bring together engaged pet owners in support of an important cause, but will help educate the community in the south end on the ongoing need for both dog and cat blood donations. Your pet could help save the life of another.”

Would your dog make a good donor? ACCES blood bank dog donor requirements:
Dogs must be over 50 pounds and between one and six years of age. They must also be good-natured, healthy and current on vaccines.

Having met the above criteria, the prospective donor will be typed and tested for infectious diseases in accordance with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) consensus statement guidelines for blood donors (at no cost to you, the owner). Once approved, the new ACCES Blood Bank donor will be asked to commit to donating once every two to three months for three years. Each donation appointment takes approximately 30 minutes and upon completion, the dog donor will receive a free toy, plenty of treats and much gratitude from the ACCES Blood Bank team. Active and retired donors are also eligible for one free transfusion from the ACCES Blood Bank if needed.

The ACCES Blood Bank will have its medical team on-site to screen prospective applicants and conduct donations during the event on February 11.

For information on requirements and how to donate, please call 206.364.1660 or visit http://www.criticalcarevets.com/newbloodbank.html.

If you are interested in the cat donor requirements, please visit http://www.criticalcarevets.com as well.

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