Hero dog retires as blood donor after donating 21 pints in seven years

Arnie was taken to his first blood donation session for the Pet Blood Bank in 2015 after reading a call for canine donors. The dog just retired as a blood donor after turning nine

Arnie just retired as a blood donor

Arnie the English Springer Spaniel may be classed as a gun dog, but he’s a real gun dog, donating 21 pints to help over 80 other beloved pets.

Owner Rachel McFarlane, 36, took Arnie to his first blood donation session for the Pet Blood Bank in 2015 after reading a call for canine donors.

She said: “It’s amazing how many people have never heard of dogs giving blood.”

Arnie has just had to retire as a blood donor after reaching the age limit of nine.

In addition to being between one and eight years old, canine blood donors must weigh more than 25 kg, be fit and healthy and not have recently been abroad.

Each donated pint has the potential to save the lives of four dogs, which means Arnie could have helped 84 other pets.

Rachel McFarlane with Arnie


Rachel McFarlane / SWNS)

Dog groomer Rachel, from Falkirk, Stirlingshire, said Arnie was almost three years old when he made his first donation, but would have registered him sooner had she known about the service.

Dogs have two blood types, positive and negative, with the most common being positive, which is Arnie. Rachel said: “Each pint can be used to help four more dogs. He would have started earlier, but I didn’t know that.

“I don’t think a lot of people know that. Until you are in the situation, it may not be something you think about.

“It is very unusual for a Springer Spaniel to be able to donate as they usually weigh less than 25kg. It is normally larger dogs such as poodles, Labradors and German Shepherds that you see donating.

“But Arnie is big for his breed so he was able to do it. When he leaves, they take a small sample of his blood to make sure everything is okay. Then they get him up on the table to put the needle in his neck to get the pint.

“Some dogs are so relaxed they almost sleep while the blood is drawn, but Arnie is a bit too nervous for that.”

The dog donated 21 pints of blood


Rachel McFarlane / SWNS)

Dogs can go there every eight weeks to contribute.

Rachel, who also has a 15-year-old Finlay border terrier, takes Arnie to a vet in Dunfermline to donate.

She said: ‘The nurses distracted Arnie with lots of gravy bones and treats and I was able to walk in with him.

“He’s always doing well when he does and loves having everyone take care of him.”

Arnie received a goody bag after each donation and even received a basket with his favorite treats and toys when he retired.

Rachel said: “Arnie isn’t the smartest of spaniels, but he’s certainly done a terrific job over the years. He’s a good lad.

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