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How To Become A Donor

"How your pet can help to save the lives of other pets"

The Florida Animal Blood & Tissue Bank at Palm Beach Veterinary Specialists (PBVS) serves south Florida animals in need of life saving blood transfusions and tissue transplants. Similar to a human blood and tissue donation service, The Florida Animal Blood & Tissue Bank collects and distributes animal blood and tissue, helping to facilitate life saving procedures for area pets.

Blood is collected from volunteer donors and supplies the local community of veterinarians along with animals admitted for specialty veterinary care to Palm Beach Veterinary Specialists. Building a strong network of animal donors ensures an adequate blood supply for our community. Many sick and injured animals throughout our community can now benefit from this resource when in need of treatments or surgeries. As a tertiary care facility, Palm Beach Veterinary Specialists cares for animals with serious life-threatening conditions that are referred by local veterinarians. They have recently expanded to become the largest, dedicated, technologically advanced specialty hospital of its kind serving the southeast region of Florida. PBVS is proud to be locally owned and operated.

To be considered as a donor, dogs should be of good temperament, weigh more than 50 pounds, must be between the ages of 1 and 6.

They must have a good health history, and the owners should reside in the area so they can serve as donors on a quarterly basis for a minimum of 3 years. Cats must live strictly indoors, have a good health history and must be between the ages of 1 and 6. Canine donors and feline donors are required to meet certain criteria before they are able to donate. There are owner incentives, which can save owners between $350 and $500 annually and are provided for as long as the pet is a donor. Blood transfusions are provided at no cost for the donor pet on a 1:1 basis (one unit donated, one unit free).

The initial screening ensures that the pet meets certain criteria. If the pet meets these qualifications they will be blood typed and checked for infectious diseases such as tick-borne illnesses. Dr. Michele Tucker, Director of The Florida Animal Blood & Tissue Bank at Palm Beach Veterinary Specialists, Department of Emergency Medicine & Critical Care Services. Their experienced veterinary technicians also play a vital role in the blood and tissue bank.

The Florida Animal Blood and Tissue Bank, collects the whole blood donations and processes them into components including packed red blood cells, fresh frozen plasma, platelet rich plasma and cryoprecipitate. Each unit of blood that is donated can save the life of up to four pets.

The blood donation process, which is done quarterly for a maximum of 3 years, is painless and in most dogs. Cats are given a sedative for the donation process. The owner may wait while the donation takes place or can return later in the day to pick up the pet.

Just as people donate blood to save lives of others, pet owners can have satisfaction knowing that their pet may be able to save the lives of many other pets during their lifetime.

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