Blood donor dog remembered for saving lives of more than 150 other canines

Blitz the dog was a blood donor for years at a veterinarian’s clinic in Upshur County, Texas. (KLTV, SPENCER VET SERVICES, CNN)
Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 3:32 AM EST
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UPSHUR COUNTY, Texas (KLTV/Gray News) - Blitz the dog was a blood donor for years at a veterinarian’s clinic in Upshur County, Texas.

The dog is credited with saving the lives of over 150 of his kind. Blitz was able to enjoy a short retirement before he recently died.

Employees at Spencer Vet Services in Upshur County said Blitz was a very happy dog. Before he retired a few months ago, he might have been spotted sitting in the lobby.

Blitz was the office mascot, but according to Spencer Vet Services owner Randall Spencer, his job was a blood donor.

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

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

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

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

“Seems like donor dogs, after they’ve given quite 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. Because of Blitz’s blood type, he never had a bad transfusion reaction with other dogs.

“Ninety-nine 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.

Blitz started suffering from kidney disease and they retired him.

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

They say Blitz died happy in his sleep.

“He was a good dog,” Spencer said.

It may not be the same without that big 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.