Hundreds of dogs, mostly greyhounds, housed for the sole purpose of draining their blood

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Greyhound blood donors

“If the governor signs it, a bill that has passed the California legislature will end businesses that “house hundreds of dogs, mostly greyhounds, for the sole purpose of draining their blood”. These are the words of Nathan Winograd in an email to me. I investigated this because it sounds shocking. Perhaps the back story is not as shocking as it sounds but this practice of confining greyhounds in a closed community for the purpose of draining their blood is going to be stopped if a proposed law by Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita manages to get through California’s legislature.

Greyhound blood donors

Captive and caged greyhounds in their kennels at Hemopet, an animal blood bank. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz,Orange County Register/SCNG)

The bill would expand the state’s animal blood supply. It would allow community-based donations similar to human blood banks. Another bill is being promoted by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, on the same topic, which would allow veterinarians to collect and sell canine donor blood.

Apparently, greyhounds are used as blood donors because they have a universal canine blood type. Animal advocates believe that the animals are mistreated. The operators and their supporters argue that close colonies allow suppliers to maintain good quality control over the blood supply.

One lady who discovered the unsatisfactory state of the supply of canine blood in California is Robyn Black. Her dog who was “my baby” died because of the inability to provide him with a life-saving blood transfusion. He was at a veterinary clinic because of an autoimmune disease.

She discovered that California state law prevented a clinic that she had found that could supply the blood from selling donor blood to another clinic. She also found that there were only two commercial animal blood donor banks in the state which are approved to operate.

My understanding of this matter is that those businesses are Hemopet based in Garden Grove and Dixon-based Animal Blood Resources International. NBC News reached out to them for a comment on the proposed change in the law but they were unwilling to respond.

The person who runs the animal welfare advocacy group Beagle Freedom Project, Shannon Keith, has reviewed the conditions at Hemopet. NBC News reports that she was horrified by the conditions. She offered to walk the dogs. I presume that the offer was not accepted.

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