LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Giving blood can save a life and that goes for pets too. There is a shortage of dog donors in the Las Vegas Valley.
Right now, the Las Vegas Animal Blood Bank gets 30 percent of its supply from local donors. The rest has to be bought from national blood banks.
“I don't know they know they're doing good. I think they know they're getting lots of free treats!” Debbie Moss said.
Moss and her neighbor Claire Hazlett are talking about their Great Danes, Cosmo, Pepper, and Peanut. The four-year-old pups are proud blood donors, saving the lives of other dogs across the valley.
“Because of the size of the Great Dane, they can give a larger unit than some of the other dogs, so they have us on their emergency list,” Moss said. “So if something happens, they know they can call us. We jump on the freeway and get out here. You help your neighbors. But you could also be helping your local police, your local search and rescue groups, so it's doing your part.”
Kelly Tantalo organizes the blood bank efforts.
“There’s a lot of different types of blood especially for dogs,” she said. “So the testing that we do, the screening is very specific to those.”
Tantalo said once a dog is screened and deemed healthy, they can donate once a month.
The blood bank has around 50 regular donors on its list. But that fills less than a third of the valley’s need.
Along with medical needs, Tantalo said there are a lot of other reasons a dog may need blood.
“If they get hit by a car, any sort of trauma -- dog bite, dog attack -- we see a lot of those cause we have so many dog parks in town,” she said.
Now with two of its longest donors retiring, the blood bank is hoping more dogs will step up to help.
“Eventually the plan is to have enough donors in the program to where we can provide for the entire valley, plus provide for our own hospitals as well,” Tantalo said. “But we're just not there yet. It takes a lot of dogs to do that.”
There are several requirements to donate blood.
- Must be 1 to 6 years old. Dogs are retired from being donors at 8.
- Weigh more than 55 pounds
- Good temperament
- Up to date on vaccines
- Not on any current medications (some are approved)
For more information or to sign up visit: https://vecc24.com/las-vegas-animal-blood-bank/ or call: 702-262-7070.