A Labrador has been branded a hero for saving the lives of eight other dogs – by donating BLOOD.
The cute pooch named Raisin was crowned Blood Donor of the Year by the Royal Veterinary College for saving the lives of other pets.
He was signed up to the programme by his owner Ann Fort after she needed a number of transfusions herself.
Ann said: “I first read about the Blood Donor Programme in the Royal Vet College Magazine Hooves and Paws.
“My husband and I thought this was a wonderful service and one perhaps we could offer help.
“After consulting Hearing Dogs for Deaf People I contacted the College and was invited to attend a preliminary interview and test for Raisin.
“After having blood taken and the results back Raisin and I were invited to his first ‘donation day’.”
But when she was told but nurse Charlotte that the pooch would have to lie still for five to ten minutes, she thought the procedure would be unlikely to be successful.
She said: “Raisin is such an active lively boy who at that time was two years old.
“Much to my amazement he did exactly as he was asked.”
After his first donation, Raisin would get excited every time Ann pulled up in the car park.
She said: “At subsequent visits Raisin became very excited as soon as I drew up in the car park. Could not wait to get in and to greet “his nurses”.
“Everyone at the Hospital was so welcoming it was a pleasure to attend. Raisin loved the attention and is a sucker for “ladies in uniform”.
“He seemed to remember exactly where he had to go and what to do without any prompting or cajoling. I could not believe how well he behaved.
“This is truly a marvellous service and every pet owner who has a pet of the right age and fitness should consider joining.
“We never know when we might need the service for our beloved pets.”
When he isn’t donating blood, Raisin is a hearing dog for Ann.
Professor Dan Chan, Professor of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine at the Royal Vet College said: Over the last year alone, hundreds of animals’ lives have been saved at the QMHA through blood donations and this number is increasing year on year.
“We are always looking for new donors so if you think your dog or cat might be suitable please check our criteria online at Blood Donor Programme.”