Ca­nines help oth­ers of their kind at blood drive

The Phoenix - - FRONT PAGE - ByMar­ian Den­nis mden­nis@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mar­i­anDen­nis1 on Twit­ter

LIM­ER­ICK » Aug. 26 is Na­tional Dog Day, and what bet­ter way to cel­e­brate your fa­vorite pup than by team­ing up to help another one?

Dog own­ers had just that in mind Aug. 26 when they showed up at K-9 Cot­tage, 3208 W. Ridge Pike, ea­ger to vol­un­teer their dogs for blood do­na­tions be­ing col­lected by Penn Vet An­i­mal Blood Bank. As donors, the dogs have the ca­pa­bil­ity to help save up to three dogs per do­na­tion.

“This is Moose. He comes here for day care ev­ery day dur­ing the week,” said Tom Strycharz, of Sanatoga, about his dog. “I do blood do­na­tions my­self, and I’ve had sev­eral dogs and I’ve never needed to have themget any type of blood trans­fu­sion or any­thing, but you never know. It’s kind of like pay­ing it for­ward I guess for dogs, just like we do for our own do­na­tions.”

Around a dozen peo­ple, many of whom take their dogs to K-9

Cot­tage reg­u­larly, showed up with their furry friends for the drive.

“I’m very happy to be spon­sor­ing the Penn-Vet ca­nine blood­mo­bile,” said Al­li­son Von Czo­ernig, owner of K-9 Cot­tage and A+ Obe­di­ence Train­ing. “For about 10 years now I have been fol­low­ing this pro­gram and have tried to be a place that they could come and for what­ever rea­son, when­ever I had a great place they were no longer tak­ing test pa­tients and I fi­nally had some good tim­ing.”

At around 10 a.m. Aug. 26, vet­eri­nar­i­ans from Penn Ve­teri­nary Medicine be­gan work­ing with their first donor, Rebel.

“We act a lot like a hu­man Red Cross,” ex­plained Kym Mar­ry­ott, man­ager of Penn Vet An­i­mal Blood Bank. “We travel out to dif- fer­ent places and col­lect pints of blood from healthy dogs for our sick an­i­mals at the hos­pi­tal.”

Af­ter al­low­ing the dog donors to sniff around the van for a few min­utes and get used to the en­vi­ron­ment, Mar­ry­ott and vet­eri­nar­ian El­iz­a­beth Hardt be­gan tak­ing sam­ples from the dogs to test their blood types. Like peo­ple, dogs have dif­fer­ent blood types, and a dog with the type known as DEA 1.1 neg­a­tive is con­sid­ered a univer­sal donor. Penn Vet was seek­ing dogs with this blood type to do­nate to its sick an­i­mals.

“One of the big dif­fer­ences with peo­ple and dogs is blood types. Ob­vi­ously peo­ple can’t do­nate to dogs and dogs can’t do­nate to peo­ple, but dogs have dif­fer­ent blood types like peo­ple. They also have a univer­sal blood type, which is the type we’re look­ing for to­day,” Mar­ry­ott said.

When a dog was de­ter­mined to have the cor­rect

blood type, it was then ready to do­nate a pint.

There are some im­por­tant re­stric­tions for dog blood do­na­tions, how­ever. Dogs must have a good tem­per­a­ment and be will­ing to vol­un­teer. They must also weigh be­tween 55 and 150 pounds, be be­tween the ages of 1 and 6 and be in ex­cel­lent health. They must also be will­ing to com­mit to bi-monthly draws.

In ad­di­tion, Mar­ry­ott ex­plained that as a vol­un­teer blood bank, Penn Vet never

muz­zles the dogs dur­ing the process, and if the dog or owner does not feel com­fort­able with the process, they are free to change their minds at any time.

“The owner has to be very com­pli­ant. It’s a vol­un­teer pro­gram, but ob­vi­ously it’s the owner vol­un­teer­ing. So when vol­un­teer­ing, the dogs are not se­dated. We can’t tell the dogs ex­actly

what we’re go­ing to be do­ing so it’s a lit­tle bit harder to ex­plain it than to just say ‘Hey, put your arm down,” said Mar­ry­ott.

Af­ter about the first two hours of the drive and four dog vis­its, the vets came away with their first three pints of do­nated blood.

“The best part of to­day is that it’s another way that K-9 Cot­tage and A+ Obedi- ence are reach­ing out into our com­mu­nity. I’m a very com­mu­nity-based per­son and I feel it’s so im­por­tant to help the dogs that aren’t in my pro­gram. It’s about giv­ing back to your peo­ple and your com­mu­nity and the dogs in this case. It’s re­ally the most im­por­tant thing to me,” Von Czo­ernig said.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the Penn An­i­mal Blood Bank visit www.vet.penn.edu or their Face­book page at www.face­book.com/pen­nvetschool.

MAR­IAN DEN­NIS – DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

From left, K-9Cot­tage owner Al­li­son Von Czo­ernig and vet­eri­nar­i­ans Kym Mar­ry­ott and El­iz­a­beth Hardt stand with their first donor, Rebel, as he fin­ishes up.

MAR­IAN DEN­NIS – DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

El­iz­a­beth Hardt holds on to dog Jacy as Kym-Mar­ry­ott takes a blood sam­ple at the Penn Vet an­i­mal blood drive.

MAR­IAN DEN­NIS – DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Dog donors re­ceived heart sticker and food af­ter suc­cess­fully do­nat­ing blood to the Penn Vet an­i­mal blood drive held at K-9 Cot­tage and A+ Obe­di­ence.

MAR­IAN DEN­NIS – DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Moose, a vol­un­teer dog donor, waits pa­tiently out­side the blood mobile as vets fin­ish up with another dog.

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