Blood donor dog remembered for saving lives of more than 150 dogs

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 1:43 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2023 at 8:14 PM CST
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UPSHUR COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Blitz the dog was a blood donor for years at a veterinarian’s clinic in Upshur County. He saved the lives of over 150 of his kind. And he got to enjoy a short retirement before he recently died.

Employees at Spencer Vet Services in Upshur County say Blitz was a very happy dog. Before he retired a few months ago he might be sitting, dog smile on his face, in the lobby.

He was their mascot, but according to vet services owner Randall Spencer, his job was as a blood donor.

“You get these dogs that come in for whatever reason. There’s multiple reason that they could be anemic. And/or need clotting factors that are in the blood. And so, sometimes those are emergency situations. So, we may need blood right now. You don’t have time to go to a blood bank. There’s not one real close by,” Spencer said.

Kennel Tech Jaclyn Taylor said Blitz was a donor for 12 years and he was comfortable with his job.

“And it’s like he knew. Okay, let’s go to work, Blitz and he’d come right out. And he’d come right out here, and he’d sit for us, no sedation, nothing. Even if they put fluids in him, he would sit there and let us do it,” Taylor said.

Randall said he’s had several donor dogs, and they adapt.

“Seems like donor dogs, after they’ve given quit a bit of blood, they tend to keep their blood counts higher, so they’ve got something in reserve,” Spencer said.

He said that helps since they’ll have more red blood cells. And because of Blitz’s blood type he never had a bad transfusion reaction with other dogs.

“99 percent of the transfusions were successful. He saved lives,” Spencer said.

The dogs may not realize that, but the owners do.

“He gets more thank you cards than I get because people know where the blood came from,” Spencer said.

Randall said Blitz began suffering from kidney disease and they retired him. In fact, Taylor:

“Took him home and he fit right in with the family. With my other dogs and cats,” Taylor said.

They say Blitz died happy.

“He was a good dog,” Spencer said.

It may not be the same without that big old dog rolling around on the floor near reception, but his blood lives on.

They are presently looking for a replacement donor dog but haven’t found one yet. It needs to have a good temperament, be the right blood type, and needs to be a larger dog.