In the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, Jessica rescued a dog named Leo and gave him a second chance at life. Now, they’re teaming up to save lives as Leo donates blood at BluePearl Pet Hospital in Clearwater.

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Leo – which is short for “Leonardo” – is a mixed breed rescue dog with an enormous smile and larger-than-life personality. He is a social butterfly who enjoys fun adventures with his owner, Jessica.

One day, Jessica read an article about a dog who donated blood and felt inspired by the concept of saving pets’ lives through blood donations. She researched the topic further and learned about the impact of donated blood in veterinary medicine, including key points like:

  • Just as humans require blood transfusions for medical conditions or emergency situations, so do our beloved pets.
  • Across the nation, there’s a shortage of available blood for pets – limiting access to life-saving transfusions for pets in need.
  • Many pets are qualified to donate blood. The process is simple and involves lots of treats, praise and love.

She learned the high-level blood donor requirements for dogs and knew that Leo would be a perfect fit.

A small brown and white dog in a red harness happily sits next to his owner on a park bench. She is giving him a kiss on his head.

Next, Jessica took Leo to BluePearl Pet Hospital in Clearwater, where he began his eligibility check process with the hospital’s blood bank coordinator, La Lania Hill. He was thoroughly assessed on his age, weight, disposition, vaccination status, bloodwork and more.

Leo passed with flying colors.

He quickly fell in love with his routine of regularly coming into the blood bank to make donations.

“Leo is one of our newer donors.” says La Lania, “He’s a perfect gentleman every time he visits.”

The blood bank team considers Leo a ray of sunshine. Upon arrival, he will paw at the door to try to get inside as quickly as possible. “He greets everyone. He walks through the door wagging his tail with a big smile on his face. He loves to get down to business – enjoying treats and belly rubs when he’s on the donation table,” says La Lania.

Recently, one of Leo’s blood donations was swiftly sent to a local emergency vet hospital and given to a patient with immediate need.

His contribution saved a life that very same day.

“You get instant gratification when you hear they literally took his blood and gave it to another dog. That’s amazing,” said Jessica.

A small brown and white dog in a red harness happily stands in a park with his tongue lolling out. His owner crouches behind him, smiling.

Jessica and Leo are no strangers to the concept of saving lives from both sides of the equation. Jessica rescued Leo after hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico – resulting in many dogs being transported to Florida with the hopes of finding a new chance at life. Jessica gave him a forever home, and now they’re happily teaming up to provide life-saving opportunities to local dogs in medical need through his regular donations.

Aside from the gratification of saving lives, donating blood at BluePearl comes with a few other perks. Leo receives his annual blood work through the donor program, and he also gets free screening for tick-borne diseases. Plus, he gets to enjoy lots of belly rubs and an ample supply of treats and toys.

Leo loves visiting the BluePearl team to donate blood and Jessica is excited that their family can help pets in need. With loving support from Jessica and the BluePearl Blood Bank team, Leo makes a critical impact on the blood supply shortage in veterinary medicine.

Learn more about the impact of blood donations, as well as the benefits and eligibility requirements at