LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Regularly many may hear the appeal to donate blood. However, what if a pet is severely injured or facing a life-threatening disease and in need of a blood donation?
Las Vegas does have a pet blood bank and it serves dogs and cats.
Last year alone 540 units of donated blood were used to save animals.
For Riot and his owner Sherry Klempke, the latest veterinarian visit is anything but ordinary.
The four-year-old golden mix was rescued from a meat farm in South Korea.
“Once he was big enough to travel, they shipped him over and we adopted him,” Klempke told 8 News Now.
Now Riot the dog might be able to save another dog’s life by becoming a blood donor.
8 News Now caught up with Riot and his owner as he started the donor screening process.
Only a small percentage of dogs qualify but donors are always needed.
The requirements to donate include being at least 55 pounds, being between the ages of one and six years old, as well as being current on vaccinations, and having good health and temperament.
Kelly Tantalo assists in running the pet blood bank at the Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center.
“We actually provide blood to all the other hospitals in the city as well, if they need it, they can come and grab it,” she said.
Dogs or cats who are sick or injured, all depend on the blood bank’s inventory.
“Anything that comes in with some sort of trauma, there’s actually a lot of diseases out there where we need to give them blood and help kind of recuperate their bodies,” Tantalo added.
The testing can be extensive and expensive, but the hospital covers the costs. It also extends discounts and other perks as well.
A number of dog donors have retired recently and the blood bank is looking for new pets to help.
“Any healthy dog especially super active dogs are great for donations as well,” she added.
Most dogs donate every couple of months, but the shelf life is 42 days, and platelets can last a little longer.
Klempke told 8 News Now she is a regular donor herself and the idea that her dog can now do the same means a lot.
“We hope we can save another life,” she added.