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Valley blood bank seeking canine donors

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Starting Saturday, your dog can be a hero: A Valley veterinary blood bank is looking for dogs to make blood donations.

When dogs in Arizona need a blood transfusion, they're in a world of hurt.

"Some of the local emergency clinics ran out of blood products these past couple of weeks," said Dr. Travis Wodiske of Family VetCare of Chandler.

To change that the Family VetCare of Chandler is opening a dog blood bank. It's the Valley's first.

They are looking to test 150 dogs on Saturday to see if they can become blood donors. The dogs must be available to donate blood on a regular basis, and must meet certain criteria.

"They have to be between one and seven years of age and greater than 50 pounds," Wodiske said.

There are specific breeds that the vets are interested in testing.

"Those dogs include greyhounds, boxers, pit bulls, Doberman pinchers, and mixed breed dogs," said Wodiske, adding that these breeds have a higher likelihood of being universal donors.

There are some incentives to pet owners.

"Once the dog is admitted into the program, we are going to give them one free exam for their dog as a way to say thank you," Wodiske said. "Then for every time they donate blood, we'll give them a $50 credit for future veterinary services."

Family VetCare hopes that opening the blood bank will save the lives of thousands of Valley dogs.

The testing will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Family VetCare of Chandler, located at 5909 W. Chandler Blvd. An appointment is required. To make an appointment, call (208) 346-2542 or by email

For more information, click here.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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