dog lying on bed with cannula in vein taking infusionWhen a dog undergoes a serious surgery, be it planned or as a result of an unexpected trauma, he or she needs life-saving blood donations just like we do.

But where does that blood come from? It’s not often that we see blood drives for pets, or the American Red Cross: Canine Division vans parked in front of local businesses. (No, there’s really no such thing, we’re just kidding)

Instead, blood donations for our four-legged friends often come from local owners volunteering their pets for the cause, and OVRS is one of the local resources for volunteer donations. These donations fuel our Buddies for Life Blood Bank, which helps dogs at both OVRS and throughout our community.

Our Canine Blood Bank

At OVRS, we perform over 400 canine blood transfusions each year. That blood is used by our Emergency department, as well as our Internal Medicine, Oncology, and Surgery departments.  In addition to our in-house transfusions, we also provide blood to our referring veterinarians, as needed.

Between the two, the overreaching need for canine blood is considerable. But where does that blood come from?

Our Donors

As we mentioned, it’s not often that you see a blood drive for canine blood. But, that is exactly what OVRS does. Once a year, typically in late spring or early summer, OVRS hosts a blood drive for our Buddies for Life Blood Bank.

But this once-a-year drive is not enough. And that’s where you and your pet come in.

Throughout the year, we work with individual canine blood donors on a private level. Typically we work with these donors on an as-needed basis to ensure that our blood bank is well stocked with an ample supply of the different bloods and plasmas we need for our patients.

If you would like to volunteer your pet as a blood donor, we would be happy to talk with you. Volunteer candidates should be between 1-8 years of age, over 50 lbs. and happy, healthy, and friendly.

If you are interested in learning more about volunteering for our blood bank, please email

And to those who do volunteer, thank-you! Your time and, well, blood, means a lot to those in need.