Dogs are incredible, loyal animals who can always be counted on to step up and help those in need. We’ve seen many stories of dogs saving lives, from saving people from drowning to fighting off dangerous animals to tracking down missing kids.
But heroes can come in all shapes and sizes, and one dog has been credited with saving the lives of dozens of dogs — all by donating blood.
Woodie the greyhound has made 22 donations to the Pet Blood Bank over the past six years, totaling 10,000 ml of blood — which has been used to save 88 dogs, according to The Mirror.
Greyhounds are ideal dog blood donors, as they are most likely to have negative type blood, which makes them “universal donors” that can be given to any dog in need. Only 30% of dogs have this blood type.
And Woodie has always been happy to spare some of his rare blood for the sake of helping his fellow dogs.
“[Woodie] goes rushing in; he’s quite happy to give blood,” Woodie’s owner Wendy Gray told The Mirror. “He never shows any sign of stress and then comes bouncing out – even though he’s got all four legs empty of blood.”
She says that Woodie and her other dogs get a “full health check” and fit the criteria for donating.
Pet Blood Bank UK has hailed Woodie as a “superstar” for making so many donations, and his owner is thrilled her greyhound has made such a difference.
“To know he has helped out families in distressing situations… it is amazing,” she told BBC. “I am just so proud of him. He takes it all in his stride.”
Woodie’s contributions to the blood bank are important, not just because he’s a rare donor type, but because so few people even know that dog blood donation is a thing. But, just like humans, dogs sometimes need blood in emergency situations, and donors help save lives.
“I love the fact we can do it. People do it for humans why not dogs for dogs?” Wendy said.
“People are always surprised to hear that dogs need blood banks too,” she told The Mirror. “I always post on social media after we’ve visited the bank, and after 22 times it still gets people saying ‘I didn’t know that existed.’”
“Owners are always so grateful. I haven’t met too many but occasionally they will contact you and say things like ‘my dog wouldn’t be here without it.’”
Woodie started donating blood when he was three years old, and has been giving blood for the past six years. But now that he’s 9, he’s considered too old to be a healthy donor, and has “retired.”
Still, everyone will remember this “superstar” and the lives he’s saved.
“[Woodie was] an absolutely outstanding donor,” Nicole Osborne of the Pet Blood Bank told BBC. “Blood really is vital for our pets, just as it is for humans, and the number of donations Woodie has made will have made a huge impact to the lives of other dogs across the country.