Animal blood bank reports shortage


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Maryann Mott, who writes exclusively about pets for a variety of national publications, will be blogging at L.A. Unleashed from time to time. She lives in Arizona with K.C., a rescued Akita mix, and Sasha, an energetic 8-year-old Belgian sheepdog. You can see more of her work at

High demand from veterinary hospitals for blood to treat critically ill pets is causing a nationwide shortage, according to Hemopet, an animal blood bank in Garden Grove, Calif.

Despite shipping about 1,200 units of dog plasma each month to more than 2,000 veterinary clinics, the country’s largest animal blood supplier says demand often surpasses supply, frequently resulting in a two-week waiting period.


Today, more than ever before, pet owners are willing to pay for increasingly sophisticated surgeries and procedures -- some mimicking those once only found in human medicine -- which in turn is causing the shortage, the company says.

The company is working on alleviating the crisis by raising funds to build an expanded blood bank facility that they say would include the nation’s first holistic healthcare facility for rescued greyhounds. Once completed, the 2 1/2 acre facility will feature 28 group apartment style units for the greyhounds with outdoor play areas. Some 200 former racing dogs currently provide blood for the bank. After one year of service, donating two to three times a month, they’re offered to the public for adoption.

-- Maryann Mott