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My previous blog was a bit on the lite side regarding a funny insurance story. Probably not funny for the owner at the time but a lesson learned for the readers. This story below (click on link)from the UK I find disturbing and sad.
Owners killing their pets to get insurance payouts
Pet insurance fraud has almost quadrupled in the space of a year, with some owners even killing their animals to get payouts.
Another scam involves staging the disappearance of an animal, because some policies pay out if a pet is lost or stolen
Lily the Chihuahua survives house fire for 15 hours in the kitchen cupboard
When Jackie and Iam Heys of the UK went out for dinner, a fire broke out in their home around 7pm. The roof and most of the house was destroyed, but they managed to save a box of mementoes of their only daughter who had died of a rare cancer when she was eight-years-old.
They were able to save two of their Chihuahuas, but they were sure that Lily had died in the fire.
However Lily had scrambled into a kitchen cupboard and hid for 15 hours under a blanket as the fire raged through the bungalow.
The next morning they asked a fireman to retrieve her body.
Mrs. Heys said,
…he walked towards us with her in his arms and she moved. He’d found her in the kitchen cupboard. She was as black as coal. I held her and cuddled her, then she went up to the fireman and started jumping up at him, almost as if to say thank you.
Out of all this tragedy, she is the miracle. She’s risen from the ashes. We’re going to call her Lily Phoenix now. The story
An adorable blind pug and her BFF, who also happens to be her volunteer guide dog, are in need of a loving home together after being found in “poor condition” in South Wales, U.K.
Franky, a big black pug, is very playful and rambunctious. Elly, a fawn-colored small pug, is super cuddly. Elly sniffs the air and nuzzles into Franky for guidance, and Franky leads her safely on walks, and to food and other points of interest.
‘This little duo obviously love each other very much,” says Elaine Buchan, manager of the RSPCA center in Newport, South Wales. “They both like to partake in doggy delights such as playing with toys and sniffing trees, but it is clear to center staff they did not have that life before.”
I wonder what their circumstances were before the RSPCA got them. The dogs will have to have operations before their adoption. I could not find out why from any story out there.
Any Dogster readers in Wales have room in your hearts and homes for this beautiful puggy pair? Better sign up soon, because if they’re anything like the blind dog and guide dog in the photo below, people will be lining up by the hundreds to adopt them. (These great Danes in Shropshire, England, were put up for adoption because their owners could no longer care for the two. Are they gorgeous or what?)
How Pet Blood Bank UK is saving dogs’ lives
Deirdre Vine tells the story of the country’s first blood bank for pets – and explains how you and your dog can contribute. From the PetPeople magazine archive
Blood is precious. While scientific advances in developing blood substitutes have been made, real donors are still the only reliable source of blood for ill pets.
So when the not-for-profit Pet Blood Bank UK (PBBuk) was launched nearly five years ago it was a huge step forward for UK dog owners: it meant vets had quick access to blood to treat critically ill dogs, rather than having to wait on donations being made, which often led to delays and loss of life.
As the only pet blood bank charity in the UK, it holds regular blood collection sessions across the country – 164 of them last year. Blood is then taken to its Loughborough processing centre, separated into red blood cells and plasma (the straw-coloured liquid carrying proteins) and then supplied to veterinary practices all over the country. Large animals make the best donors, and Pet Blood Bank UK has just notched up its 3,000th doggy donor. Dog blood donors? To some it’s still a novel idea. The process is painless and simple, yet the impact it has is immense: every unit collected can help save up to four dogs’ lives.
The idea for a UK pet blood bank came from across the Atlantic. Wendy Barnett, head of clinical and professional services and co-founder of PBBuk, visited six blood banks in the USA. ‘They’ve been blood-banking for more than 20 years, so a lot of our information has come from them,’ she explains.
As blood brothers go, a Great Dane called Shiloh and a Golden Retriever named Brook are an unlikely pair. Yet these two handsome chaps, who live 100 miles apart, have a unique bond: without Brook’s blood donation earlier this year, seven-year-old Shiloh might well have died.
Shiloh’s owner, Bill Bowler, explains: ‘Last winter, I’d bought a large tub of fat balls to feed the birds. It was the kind of plastic container that anyone would struggle to open and I stored it in what I thought was a safe place in the garage. Somehow Shiloh managed to rip it apart and devoured most of the contents.’
Bill, a vet with 26 years’ experience, recalls that Shiloh developed gastric dilatationvolvulus (GDV), a life-threatening condition in which the stomach fills with gas and twists over. That evening, Bill performed a three-and-a-half-hour operation on his dog. ‘It ended around 2am, and by 7am I thought I’d better go home,’ he says. ‘At that point, I really thought he was going to die.’
After appearing to rally briefly, Shiloh’s heartbeat became erratic and a blood test confirmed that he was anaemic. ‘I suspected diffuse intravascular coagulation [where small blood clots form inside the blood vessels around the body] and, at this point, contacted the Pet Blood Bank,’ says Bill. ‘Shiloh received two bags of plasma and two of blood cells. The transfusion stabilised him, and after that, he gradually recovered. I think giving him [another dog’s] blood, with clotting factors and red blood cells, made a big difference.’
As more vets become aware that PBBuk supplies blood components, demand is increasing – to date, the bank has provided blood products to more than 460 veterinary practices in Britain. ‘This was the first time I’d used the Pet Blood Bank,’ says Bill. ‘I was very impressed. I’d recommend it; they were unintimidating, helpful and made the process straightforward. As a vet, I’d say to owners, if you have a dog that is eligible to give blood, what could be better than to give another dog a chance?’
The sentiment is shared by Amy Saunders, owner of five-year-old Brook, one of the PBBuk donors who helped to save Shiloh. Amy, a retired nurse and midwife, says: ‘It’s a gift of life to an animal that might otherwise die – and one day that could be your animal.’
Amy has four much-adored Golden Retrievers: Bliss, and sons Breeze, Brook and Harry. ‘They would all be donors if they were eligible,’ insists Amy. ‘Brook is very happy to donate regularly. It’s all because of the staff: I have total faith in them. They are all in exactly the right job. They make a big fuss of both Brook and me.’
It normally takes about five to seven minutes for a dog to make a blood donation. ‘I choose to wait outside the room while he gives blood,’ says Amy, ‘and when he comes out, he is given water, food and a goody bag.’
It would be wrong to assume that only pedigree dogs can be blood donors. What is vital is that dogs meet the eligibility criteria (see below), pass the stringent health screening stage and have the right temperament – ideally, they should like to be handled, love attention and be stimulated by either food or human attention. ‘We’d be happy to see more cross-breeds coming forward,’ says Wendy.
‘I could write a book on how particular breeds respond,’ says PBBuk’s other co-founder, veterinary supervisor Jenny Walton. German Shepherds and Labradors can be among the most co-operative donors, but, says Jenny, ‘our favourite repeat visitors are Greyhounds because of their compliant temperament and their anatomy. They’re slim, and their veins are very visible. And they have staying power: I’d say 95 per cent of Greyhounds happily remain donors.’
Rottweilers are also pretty good donors, adds Jenny. ‘No sooner are they on the table than they lift their back leg up to be tickled, and they lie there contentedly. But Rottweilers have a positive blood type, whereas the greatest demand is for the negative blood type.’
PBBuk is aware that cats need blood too, and is researching feline blood collection with a view to possibly extending its service in the future. Meanwhile, though, the immediate challenge for PBBuk is to balance its supply and demand, and encourage eligible dog owners to register their pets as potential donors. ‘Blood donations typically decrease around Christmas and other holiday times, the same as the human National Blood Service,’ says Wendy.
Top dog and number one donor at PBBuk is Seamus, a Greyhound cross who is due to retire this autumn on reaching his ninth birthday, but not before making his 20th blood donation. His was the very first donation given to PBBuk, and Seamus has donated every three to four months since then.
Could your dog be the next Seamus? PBBuk hopes so.
- Dogs have two main blood types: ‘1.1’ positive and negative
- 70 per cent of PBBuk donors have a positive blood type, while 30 per cent have a negative blood type
- Some breeds are more likely to have a negative blood type, such as Airedales, German Shepherds, English Bull Terriers, Dobermans and Greyhounds
Donating, volunteering, fundraising
To be eligible to donate blood, your dog should:
- be between one and eight years old weigh more than 25kg have a good temperament have never travelled abroad be up to date on all vaccinations
- be fit and healthy not be on any medication
If your dog meets these criteria, please register by visiting www.petbloodbankuk.org so that Pet Blood Bank UK can contact you about donating in the future. Call 01509 232222 if you have any queries. Even if your dog doesn’t meet the above criteria, you can still get involved by recommending friends with large dogs, volunteering to help at a collection session, or fundraising for PBBuk.