Leicestershire Greyhound retires after six years of donating rare blood

A dog who donated his rare blood to help save up to 88 other dogs has retired after six years.

The greyhound, Woodie, from Melton Mowbray, in Leicestershire, first gave blood when he was three and the nine-year-old has since reached a total of 22 donations.

Owner Wendy Gray said: “To know he has helped out families in distressing situations… it is amazing.”

According tot the Pet Blood Bank UK each 450ml donation can help up to four dogs and hailed Woodie a “superstar”.

The Loughborough-based charity said greyhound blood was particularly sought after as it was more likely to be negative, meaning it can be given to any dog in any emergency and only 30% of dogs were thought to have this blood type.

Woodie can no longer donate as blood is only taken from dogs aged one to eight.

Miss Gray said Woodie was always happy to donate and the dogs are given “so much fuss and treats”.

“He squeaks when he gets there, goes rushing up to the person who goes to meet him,” she said.

“He lies on the table as still as anything until it’s all over and gets back up.

“He loves it. He has absolutely no ill effects afterwards and is ready for a four to eight hour walk afterwards.”

“I am just so proud of him. He takes it all in his stride,” she added.

“You never know when your dog will need blood. To know he has helped out families in distressing situations, to know he has helped saved lives, it is amazing.”

The bank, set up in 2007, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to ensure blood is always available. It now provides blood to vet surgeries across England.

To be a donor a dog must weigh at least 25kg, be between the ages of one and eight, and be fit and healthy. Any dog below 25kg has not got enough blood to give, and after eight years dogs’ blood is not optimal.