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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 caninebloodheroes@gmail.com.

For more information, click here.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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