Cornell Blood Donor Program

The Cornell University Hospital for Animals, one of the leading institutions of its kind, needs your help with their Companion Animal Blood Donor Program. If you live in the Ithaca area, please read on and consider volunteering.

As needed, volunteers bring their animals into the hospital to donate a unit of blood. After the donation, the animals return home the same day. Most transfusions in animals are done on an emergency basis under extreme time limits. In most cases, the veterinarian does not know the patient’s blood type in advance. If the blood is not obtained from a donor that has been typed and tested for infectious diseases, the recipient of the blood could have a reaction to the blood or may be infected with a transmittable disease.

Each potential donor is thoroughly typed and tested to ensure that their blood is safe to give to another animal, as well as ensuring that your pet is in no danger to donate his/her blood. The donor program consists of dogs and cats. Volunteers usually donate blood every few months.

Here’s what they look for in a donor dog:

  • Over 50 lbs
  • 1-10 years of age
  • Yearly vaccinations
  • Neutered (preferred)
  • Healthy / Not on any medications (except heartworm and flea protection)
  • Friendly

All expenses related to donor screening and blood donation are paid for by the program. This includes all preliminary blood work and medical record fees. Donors accepted into the program receive the following:

  • ONE free yearly physical exam
  • CBC, Chem, heartworm antigen once per year (in conjunction with yearly exam)
  • Free vaccines (at time of yearly exam) – excluding Bordetella and Giardia
  • A $30 credit towards purchase of any goods or services offered by the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, including pet food, good for one year.
  • Free bag of food or biscuits, donated by Hills or Purina.

This is a terrific program, and Greyhounds are “universal donors,” meaning that they can provide transfusions for any other dog. We’ve participated in this program for years, and we couldn’t be happier with the staff and the way they treat our pets and their patients.