Update 29 May 2020 - welcoming new donors
We are pleased to say that we are once again welcoming new donors to join our lifesaving community. As our repeat donors have done so fantastically well donating on their own, we are now able to invite new donors to come along to sessions, but owners do still need to wait outside in their cars while their dog comes in. We fully appreciate that owners may be apprehensive about allowing their dogs to take part in the process themselves and this is understandable. However, when we speak to any new owners, we will go through everything in detail before the session to ensure you are happy that your dog will enjoy taking part. We are looking for dogs who are confident and happy in new situations and with meeting new people. And, as always, we are particularly appealing to those who have a breed of dog more likely to be negative blood type to come forward.
Update 18 May 2020
With the lockdown restrictions easing, we have reviewed our guidance for owners. All precautions below currently in place for donation sessions will remain at this time. This includes owners waiting in their cars while their dogs come in to donate and people who fall into the vulnerable group being asked to stay home. We understand how much many of you want to support us, particularly those of you who fall into the vulnerable group but are otherwise healthy, but we feel this is the right thing to do to protect both you and our team. As we are also a charity that operates across the UK, we want to keep our guidelines the same for all owners. As government advice changes, we will continue to review the situation and will keep you updated with any changes to our practices.
We would like to say a huge thank you for all your support during this time. It really means so much to us.
Guidance for owners
As the service we provide to vets is classed as essential, and our team are within the key worker category, our sessions are still going ahead.
Please attend your appointment if you are healthy and able to. This will help us to keep our vital blood stocks going for as long as possible to help save lives. Safety is paramount and so we have put many extra precautions in place to enable us to continue running while protecting you, our team and venues.
If you are attending an appointment with us, please ensure you have your appointment letter, confirmation email or text message handy. As Police checks are now in place regarding the purpose of people's journeys, this will enable you to show you are attending an appointment for your dog to donate blood.
To protect you, we currently have the following measures in place for our sessions:
- Please keep your appointment if you can. If you are unable to attend, please let us know as soon as possible so we can allocate your appointment to another dog.
- We advise you cancel your appointment if you:
- are showing any symptoms of COVID-19
- have travelled from/been in contact with anyone who has travelled from a high risk area
- have been in contact with anyone required to self-isolate (due to symptoms) or confirmed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days
- have been asked to self-isolate
- fall within the high risk category. This includes if you are over 70 (regardless of medical conditions), are under 70 but have underlying health conditions, or are pregnant
- Likewise, if any of our own team meet the criteria above, they are being asked to stay home.
- To reduce risk to our team, and the team of our host venues, we will now meet you at your car and your dog will come into the session alone. When you arrive, please text us on the number we provide to let us know you are outside. When our vet is ready, they will phone you to conduct the first part of the pre-screen assessment of going over your paperwork and your dog’s clinical history. If this is all okay, a member of our team will come outside to collect your dog from your car and take them into the session. Please ensure your dog is wearing a lead and ready to be passed to us. We fully appreciate and understand that some owners might be uneasy about their dogs taking part in the process themselves. We will give your dog plenty of reassurance and treats, as always, to ensure they are happy. If you are unhappy about your dog coming into the session alone, we ask that you cancel your appointment. You know welfare is at the heart of what we do and if your dog is showing any signs of anxiety, we will bring them back to you straight away.
- With the warmer weather, please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible to reduce the time your dog is waiting in the car. If it is a warm day, remember to bring plenty of water and have the air con on or windows open. Likewise, we recommend taking your dog straight home after donating to minimise the time spent in the car.
- Please minimise the amount of people coming with you to the session. Unless you need help with your dog(s), we advise you to come alone where possible.
- Unfortunately, due to these measures, if you come to session on foot or by public transport, we are unable to offer you anywhere to wait. If a car is unavailable to you, we advise you cancel your appointment with us.
- All areas will be disinfected and cleaned, including door handles, between each donor.
- Due to the challenges for Royal Mail, when arranging appointments, we are asking if you are happy to receive your appointment letter by email to reduce delays. We will continue to send letters by post for those who prefer, but it may take a little longer. If you have not received your letter, please let us know.
- We are allowing a three month grace period for routine vaccinations due to vets being unable to provide this service. As long as your dog's vaccinations are under three months overdue, they can still donate if they are fit, healthy and not taking any medication.
We would like to thank you for your support at this time and are grateful to everyone who continues to attend their appointments. There is absolutely no expectation for your dog to donate, especially in the circumstances. Welfare is and always will be our priority. We apologise that the session might be different from the experience you are used to but we will continue to do what we can to make it a positive, exciting and rewarding experience for all our dogs, and help keep the service going to help save lives.
If you have any questions, please call us on 01509 232 222.
Keeping yourself and your pets safe
Several of the leading animal welfare and vet organisations have pulled together to create some important advice and guidance on how to keep yourself and your pets safe during this challenging time - read now