Dogs Paw the Line for Canine Blood Drive
West Trenton - Nine explosives and narcotics trained
canines lined up today with their handlers to provide units
of life-giving blood to dogs in need. K-9s from the New Jersey
State Police and other law enforcement agencies donated units
of blood at for a drive run by the Ryan Veterinary Hospital
at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine.
"Everyone knows that animals sometimes need veterinary care
and operations, but we just aren't aware that there is a constant
need for donated animal blood," said Sgt. Debra Faiello, whose
State Police canine Xena, participated in the blood drive.
Although State Police headquarters has been the site of Red
Cross blood drives, the event is the first time animal blood
donations have been collected here. Similar to people, canines
give one unit of blood, but their unit is 450ml, or one pint.
There are 12 different blood types for dogs. All participating
dogs must be in good health, between one and seven years old
and weigh more than 50 pounds. Most active law enforcement
dogs fit these criteria perfectly.
The Ryan Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania's
School of Veterinary Medicine manages the animal blood donor
program, which began in 1987 to meet the needs of its patients.
The Penn Animal Blood Bank has grown tremendously over the
years; since it began, more than 3,000 dogs have participated.
It is the largest voluntary canine blood donor program in
the nation. The bloodmobile is a vital part of the hospital's
lifesaving treatments for patients.
Some law enforcement K-9s who came for the blood drive also
participated in search demonstrations and State Police explosives
technicians had some of their equipment on display.
The State Police explosives-trained dogs and handlers are
part of the Governor's New Jersey Explosives Detection and
Render Safe Task Force, which was formed on April 12, 2004.
The initiative was conceived by the Domestic Security Preparedness
Task Force, chaired by Attorney General Peter Harvey, in conjunction
with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office for
The task force provides a consistent statewide response to
finding explosives before they go off and rendering them harmless
when they are found. This initiative substantially increases
the safety and security of New Jersey citizens by increasing
the number of trained canine teams and enhancing training
opportunities amongst a large pool of agencies.
Today's blood drive included dogs from Morris and Monmouth
County Sheriff's Departments and New Brunswick Police Department
in addition to State Police K-9s.
Canine blood donations from the general public are also welcome.
Owners, or dogs who are able, should call (215)573-7222, to
reach the University blood bank to make arrangements. Donna
Oakley, the program director lectures across the nation on
animal blood collection.
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