Give your pets the chance to be more than just lap-things and models for tiny pretentious sweaters by participating in Pints for Pets, a dog and cat blood-donor program to benefit the four-legged patients of the MSPCA Angell Animal Medical Center - Boston.
“The medical center requires more blood than what’s actually donated annually,” says Brian Adams, of the MSPCA-Angell media and community relations office. “Animals require blood for any number of reasons, including periodic treatments for diseases, and for major traumas.” Such traumas, like a pet being hit by a car, can be more effectively treated if animal medical clinics are sufficiently equipped to deal with blood loss.
The center is looking to double its number of animal donors; Adams estimates that in 2008, 36 cats and 76 dogs donated blood. Animal blood donation is a simple procedure (requiring mild sedation for cats, because they’re furry little freak-out machines) that takes approximately 15 minutes and can cause minimal side effects, such as lethargy (as if that’s highly uncommon for cats). There are weight and age restrictions for donor animals; visit www.mspca.org/blooddonor to see if your pet fits the bill.The benefits of animal blood donation are mutual; donor pets receive free rabies and distemper vaccinations, a six-month supply of heartworm preventative products, and free Lyme disease and heartworm tests. Animals that give blood at least twice will receive a free I.D. microchip implantation. Hey, in these tough economic times, anything that can help fray the cost of owning a pet is worth exploring.
Of course, the benefits stretch beyond monetary boundaries. “Many times we’ve had pets whose lives have been saved because of a transfusion, and the owners will ask to get in touch with the owners of the donor pets,” Adams says. “We’ve formed a lot of friendships.”