AUSTIN (KXAN) — A local blood bank for dogs said it needs donors to make sure a Round Rock animal hospital is ready for emergency pet situations.

The Canine Blood Heroes site in Round Rock currently has just one donor registered for the next two months, site manager Jenice Johnson said. Without donors, the hospital will be “blood dry.”

“If we can’t get [blood] here, for whatever reason…let’s say that our our facility doesn’t have any more, then they would have to travel elsewhere to find the blood,” she said.

Canine Blood Heroes is a national organization with sites across the county. Other locations in Texas are in Grapevine and San Antonio, Johnson said.

Dog blood is used in emergencies to treat injuries and illnesses like snake bites, dog anemia and heat strokes with plasma or transfusions. Other animals, like cats and gerbils, can donate blood through other programs.

Johnson said local blood banks are important because animal hospitals otherwise have to order blood units from a private company, which can be pricy. If a hospital does not have a type of blood available, vets may send patients to another hospital, which may be as far away as Fort Worth or College Station.

“So in an emergency situation, that’s not really the best thing for pets,” she said.

Pet owners are compensated for each donation. Negative blood types are given $50, and positive types receive $30 per donation.

Donations typically take 30 minutes and can save up to four dogs’ lives. After they donate, dogs get a large bowl of food before leaving, similar to how people get snacks and drinks.

Two clinics are scheduled for Aug. 20 and 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Heart of Texas Veterinary Specialty Center in Round Rock. Registration is not needed in advance.

“Our hope is that eventually once Canine Blood Heroes becomes successful enough and big enough that every local emergency hospital can use us,” Johnson said.

Dog donor requirements

Similar to people, Johnson said there are requirements for dogs to donate:

  • Must be up to date on vaccinations
  • Must be on heartworm preventative
  • Must weigh at least 50 pounds
  • Must be age 1-8
  • Must pass blood panel at typing clinic