Two families of canine and feline blood donors have been given “Blood Donor of the Year” awards by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) to mark World Blood Donor Day on June 14.
The Canine Blood Donor of the Year is a six-year-old super-collie called Spike who joined the RVC Blood Transfusion service in April 2019 and has since donated 13 times.
Katie Matthews, daughter of Spike’s owner Pauline, said: “Mum saw an appeal online asking for blood donors, and particularly this breed, so he went in for some tests to check that he was suitable and he’s been going in ever since. He absolutely loves donating!”
The feline Blood Donor of the Year was awarded to Weasley, a five-year-old domestic shorthair that has made 10 life-saving donations since being signed up for the programme in 2018.
More than 200 dogs and cats are currently in the RVC Blood Donation programme, with nearly 700 transfusions made over the last year. All donors are given health checks prior to donating and receive a full blood screening annually free of charge. Donors are also provided with a special blood donor tag to recognise their support, and each receives a special gift when they retire.
Charlotte Russo, head of transfusion medicine nurse at the RVC, said: “We always need more feline donors – big happy relaxed cats! We are also always looking for more blood group ‘negative’ canine donors – so dobermans, greyhounds, flat coat retrievers, German shepherds and ‘Staffies’ are often ideal.”