NCR gets its first pet blood bank at Delhi doorstep

Updated on Jul 23, 2012 01:10 AM IST
A blood bank for animals is a very rare thing in a country like India where even precious human lives are lost because of shortage of blood stock. Deevakar Anand reports.
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Hindustan Times | ByDeevakar Anand, Gurgaon

A blood bank for animals is a very rare thing in a country like India where even precious human lives are lost because of shortage of blood stock.

But this piece of news will be music to the ears of dog lovers across the national capital region.

After a blood bank for dogs at Chennai-based Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), the country's second such facility is being opened at Delhi's Rajokri village near the Delhi-Gurgaon border.

A private initiative of Dr Vinod Sharma, the dog blood bank will operate from his veterinary hospital Jeevasharam Foundation.

Sharma has already found a few donors too. "Candy, Brandy, Sultan and Molly are the first four donors made available by their owners in Delhi and Gurgaon," said the vet.

"A donor should be healthy and weigh around 20 kg or more and should be 1-8 years old. As we go about establishing this blood bank, we expect more and more donors and as many beneficiaries," he said.

"Donors will receive one free vaccine course per year and one free blood transfusion if they ever need one. A healthy dog can donate every 8-10 weeks," Dr Sharma added.

Conceived over a couple of years ago by him and Dr Casey Connars of the Tuffs University in the US, the idea to have a blood bank could be implemented after a Good Samaritan came forward to fund the initiative.

Juan Costain, who heads the water and sanitation programme of the World Bank in South Asia lost his dog Sheetal in December 2011 after she became anemic and doctors didn't have blood to transfuse to her.

Moved, Costain, donated ample money to get a refrigerator, microscopic devices, blood bags and other apparatuses so that a dog blood bank could be set up.

"Rather than be unhappy about Sheetal's death, I thought of doing something that would prevent dogs from dying due to blood shortage," he said.

Costain, who was involved in dog charity, said he gave around 15% of his annual salary for the blood bank.

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