Saving lives is a team effort. During her blood donor days at BluePearl Blood Bank in Tampa, Lilly was surrounded by the love and support of her passionate owner, her little best friend, and the expert medical team.

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Lilly is a rescued pit bull mix living with Kat, her loving owner, and Harvey, her little “sidekick” pal who is also a rescue dog. Kat describes Lilly as both “a little diva” and very sweet.

Kat has always had a passion for rescuing animals and saving lives, and when she discovered the enormous and rewarding impact of veterinary blood donations, she thought, “This is just one more way that we can help.”

During her research, Kat learned about the blood bank at BluePearl Pet Hospital in Tampa, Florida, and started the conversation. Lilly was assessed based on the blood donor eligibility requirements – which take into account factors like her age, size, medical history and bloodwork results – and she was cleared to become a donor.

“We try to make it a very happy and fun experience for our donors, so they want to come in and donate,” said Amee Quartemont, a certified veterinary technician. “Lilly loved coming in. She was always excited and wagging her tail.”

Before she retired, Lilly donated blood with a room full of cheerful supporters. She not only received affection and encouragement from the BluePearl team and Kat, but she also had her happy best friend Harvey by her side too. (Harvey is too small to donate blood, though he loved supporting Lilly from the sidelines.)

A close-up of a brown and white pit bull "booping" the camera with her nose.

As a blood donor, Lilly received complimentary annual bloodwork to assess her health and screen for tick-borne diseases.

“We check to make sure our donors are not carrying any illnesses that could potentially be transmitted through donated blood and into a recipient patient,” explained La Lania Hill, blood bank coordinator.

In this process, Lilly’s family received some shocking news: Lilly tested positive for a tick-borne illness.

“She had no signs or symptoms, and there was no reason to think she would come up positive. So it was very surprising,” said La Lania. “When these things happen, the team takes them very seriously. We understand the potential detriment of the recipient patient.”

Lilly was prescribed antibiotics. Two weeks later, her blood was re-checked and the results revealed she no longer had the tick-borne illness.

Unfortunately, her previous exposure meant she was no longer eligible to donate blood.

“Because she can’t donate any more, I want other people to know that their pets can donate too,” said Kat. “It’s been really rewarding and she’s a little hero.”

Two veterinary professionals sit on the floor with two very happy dogs, giving them lots of love.
A brown and white pit bull wags her tail and gets lots of pets from a veterinary professional in a mask while sitting on the floor together. A second dog sits on the floor with them and looks up happily.

Lilly’s blood donation legacy includes four successful donations, and each played a critical role in saving the lives of other dogs. The combination of Kat’s willingness to get involved and Lilly’s valuable donations made an important impact on the national pet blood shortage.

Just as humans require blood transfusions for medical conditions or emergency situations, so do our beloved pets. Every donation is precious – and the need for life-saving blood transfusions continues to grow.

At BluePearl, the donation process is simple and involves lots of perks, like complimentary physicals and annual lab work that gives owners valuable insight into their pets’ health. Plus, the heroic donors receive plenty of love, treats, toys and belly rubs.

“There’s always a need for blood, whether it’s human or animal,” said Amee. “It’s a great opportunity, especially if your pets are friendly and you’re willing to donate your time too.”

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