Blood donating Eaton Bray dogs star in ITV show to help charity

Emma and Sizzle with Sue and Sharwood.
Emma and Sizzle with Sue and Sharwood.

Three hero canines from Eaton Bray have been raising awareness about the vital need for pet blood donation, with a helping paw from ITV’s Britain’s Top 100 Dogs.

Village resident Sue Mitchell is very proud of her three Gordon Setters, Garner, Baxter and Sharwood, who have donated 12, 16, and eight times respectively.

Garner (age nine) and Baxter (age four).

Garner (age nine) and Baxter (age four).

The furry campaigners support the canine charity Pet Blood Bank UK, and ITV recently filmed kind Sharwood meeting one of the dogs his blood has helped to save - little dachshund, Sizzle.

Owner Sue, said: “For most people, it doesn’t come into their minds - ‘Oh, I didn’t know there was a Pet Blood Bank!’

“But, for example, dogs can have haemophilia, they could be involved in road traffic accidents; just like humans, there are many reasons why they may need a blood transfusion.

“I was at Discover Dogs [ExCeL] in November when I was approached by someone from the ITV show who asked ‘Do your dogs do anything in particular?’

Sue and Sharwood. Sharwood is wearing his Pet Blood Bank UK bandana.

Sue and Sharwood. Sharwood is wearing his Pet Blood Bank UK bandana.

“They filmed the blood donation in November and then the following week we went down to Hampshire to meet Sizzle and his owner Emma, which was very exciting.

“My husband Chris and I are very proud of all three of our dogs. They are very loyal, great fun to be with, and very exuberent.”

Sue decided to help Pet Blood Bank UK after picking up a leaflet at a dog show a few years ago, and is now joining their team’s stall at Crufts on March 9. She is also determind to encourage Leighton-Linslade residents and their pets to support the charity, with its nearby donation points including: Milton Keynes Vet Group, Wendover Heights Veterinary Centre, Aylesbury, Willows Veterinary Centre, Newport Pagnell, Davies Veterinary Specialists, Hitchin, and Elizabeth Smith Veterinary Practice, Upper Caldecote.

Wendy Barnett, clinical director of Pet Blood Bank UK, said: “Sue is a fantastic supporter of Pet Blood Bank. Not only does she bring her own dogs to donate, she is real ambassador for the charity, going above and beyond.

“Between them, Sharwood, Baxter, and Garner have helped to save the lives of up to 144 dogs so far, which is testament of Sue’s commitment and dedication to the charity.”

Eaton Bray’s hero canines attend Ark House Vets, Leighton Buzzard. Kate Semple, director and veterinary surgeon, said: “They are wonderful and beautifully behaved dogs, easy to handle and very chilled. You’d be surprised how easy it is to donate, and we are hoping to get Pet Blood Bank UK to come here.”

The doggy donations take around five to six minutes (one unit of blood) and the dogs are not sedated so must be of a calm nature.

In order to become a donor, your dog must be: fit and healthy, between one and eight years old, weigh more than 25kg, have a good temperament, have never travelled abroad, be vaccinated, and not on any medication.

The ITV crew filmed both Baxter and Sharwood donating (Garner has now retired) and the show aimed to find the nation’s favourite breed for 2019.

To find out more about donating, visit: petbloodbankuk.org or call: 01509 232 222.

Ark House Vets would also be keen to hear from residents interested in canine blood donation: enquiries@arkhousevets.co.uk