An upcoming canine blood donor drive in Langley aims to offer a positive perspective on bully breeds.
Andrea Dyck, blood services director with the Animal Emergency Clinic of the Fraser Valley, runs a donor program in which dogs and cats donate blood to help sick and injured animals — not only at the Langley hospital, but all over the Lower Mainland.
The Langley clinic has recently partnered with HugAbull Rescue Society to run a blood donor drive on Saturday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 1 at the facility, #306 6325 204 St.
“We asked them if they would bring a bunch of pitbull-type dogs because they are fantastic blood donors, they have wonderful temperaments and also, we thought this would be a really good way to show pitbulls positively in the media, besides what they are usually seen as,” Dyck said.
Suitable donors at the clinic will include any dog weighing more than 30 pounds, as well as dogs over that weight in the bully breed category including Staffordshires, American bulldogs, bull mastiffs, bull terriers, and boxers.
The public is welcome to bring their dogs to the clinic to participate in the blood drive.
HugAbull rescues pitbull dogs, provides public education, and, the society notes, “builds a community of responsible pitbull owners and supporters.”
Dyck said the goal of the blood drive is to “get the word out about blood donation, meet potential new donors and to show bully breeds such as pitbulls in a positive light — saving the lives of other dogs.”
“We have many pittie-type dogs already in our program, saving lives of people’s dogs every day,” she added.
This is the first drive at the clinic that is breed-specific.
“What we wanted to do was reach out to hospitals and rescues and start educating people on what blood donation is,” Dyck said. “The more donors we have, the more people we can help.”
As for how a bully breed dog such as a pitbull will react to being pinched by a needle, Dyck isn’t concerned in the least.
“Honestly, if there’s cookies involved, they don’t care,” she said.
“Our pitbull donors really are some of our best ones. They are sweet, they are even-tempered, which I know people don’t think of them as (being). They’re just lovely to work with, and they will work for food.”
In Dyck’s opinion, pitbulls have been bred for generations to be fighting dogs.
“We’ve worked really hard nowadays to not make them fighters, but they still have that genetic predisposition to want to fight with other dogs,” Dyck said.
“That’s where people see them as being aggressive is because sometimes they struggle with other dogs.”
Dyck said if donor dogs need quiet or privacy and additional one-on-one attention during the blood drive, the clinic will accommodate them.