LAS VEGAS -- In time of crisis or catastrophes, blood drives are often held for those in need. Pets also fall into that mix when dealing with diseases like cancer, or after being injured. Saturday a special blood drive was held in the Valley for animals and on hand was one dog whose life has been saved thanks in part to a blood transfusion.
Often we hear about how donating blood can help to save a human's life. But animals, such as dogs and cats, can save lives of their own too. It is what made the difference for a valley woman's dog that was hit by a car and was barely hanging on.
Ann Busch and her 3-year old Australian Shepherd Lucy are best friends. But Lucy found herself battling for her life after being hit by a car 7 weeks ago.
"Her pelvis was crushed, her leg was crushed, and she unfortunately had a lot of complications. We thought we were going to lose her a few times," said Ann Busch, Lucy's Owner.
But Lori Lauer and her Neapolitan Mastiff/Boxer mix Sandy were Lucy's saviors. Sandy is a registered blood donor and doctors realized she was the perfect match.
"I said we'll give her the feeding tube, we'll go with the blood transfusion, if this can't help her, I don't know if we can keep going," said Busch.
The Animal Referral Center called immediately, a blood transfusion was Lucy's last hope.
"She said no we need her like right now, we've got a dog on the table and we need to save a dog's life, said Lori Lauer, Sandy's owner.
It worked, the very next day; Lucy was full of life, and able to eat on her own for the very first time again.
"She was starting to make progress in the right direction and she really perked up," said Busch.
"My dogs are my children so to know that my dog saved somebody else's dog, it's very rewarding," said Lauer.
Ann and Lori meet for the first time at a blood drive, where record 54-dogs gave the gift of life. Now the two encourage other owners to make their dogs donors too.
"Whether it worked or not, I was just glad to know that there were still people out there that cared enough to give up their time," said Busch.
Lucy continues her slow recovery but has made it through the worst. Thanks to kindness from a stranger, she not only has a life long friend, but also a new "leash" on life.
Your dog can become a donor too. They must be between the ages of one and seven, weigh more than 40-pounds and be in good health and up to date on all vaccines. Cats can also donate blood, too.
Some medical providers say they often deal with Hispanic patients who are afraid to seek medical care. It's hoped the opening of a new medical clinic will change that.