A Special Kind of Greyhound Rescue
by Jen Mitchell Oddi & Laura Ducharme | Dr. Jean Dodds is a world renowned vaccine research scientist and practicing veterinarian.
Early in her career she worked in hematology, and in 1980 she became Executive Director of the New York State Council on Human Blood and Transfusion Services.
As a natural innovator, she began to wonder, “What about a Red Cross for dogs?” So in 1986 she moved to Southern California and established Hemopet, the first non-profit national blood bank program for animals.
Although Greyhound racing has been banned in over 40 states, it still exists, and as long as it does, there are dogs that need to be rescued.
Once their racing career is over, the Greyhounds are of no use to their owners and are destroyed unless they’re rescued.
In order to have a safe supply of canine blood there have to be ideal donors, and the Greyhound’s short hair, pleasant temperament and good blood count fit the bill.
They’re also wonderful companions, so you know in the short term they’re going to provide blood to save other dog’s lives, and in the long term they’re going to make wonderful family pets.
Hemopet rescues retired racing greyhounds from several states who then safely donate lifesaving blood.
The blood components and supplies are provided to veterinary clinics for transfusions. After 12–18 months, Hemopet’s Pet Life-Line Division places the dogs up for adoption or into foster care for adoption.
There’s a wonderful team of staff and volunteers who help take these un-socialized race dogs and help them become adoptable pets.
Not only is Hemopet saving thousands of Greyhounds, but they are helping to provide safe blood for tranfusions for other dogs.
We featured this wonderful operation in our Greyhound Rescue episode, online now at thepetnetwork.tv/fido-wine.