Potters Bar golden retriever saved ‘countless’ canine lives through blood donations

PUBLISHED: 12:33 14 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:33 14 June 2019

Bertie is nine year's old and lives in Potters Bar. Picture: RVC.

Bertie is nine year's old and lives in Potters Bar. Picture: RVC.


A Potters Bar golden retriever has saved ‘countless’ canine lives, through donating his blood to the Royal Veterinary College near the town.

Bertie has supplied 22 units of blood. Picture: RVC.Bertie has supplied 22 units of blood. Picture: RVC.

Bertie, who is nine in human years and 63 in dog years, has helped hundreds of animals involved in accidents, surgeries and suffering from serious diseases through his blood donations.

In recognition of these efforts, the RVC gave Bertie the 'Canine Donor of the Year' award on Friday, to coincide with World Blood Donor Day.

The golden retriever, who is due to retire at this year, has provided a total of 22 units of blood over eight years to the RVC's Queen Mother Hospital for Animals near Potters Bar.

Bertie's owner Chris Jones, who is also a blood donor, said he was motivated to bring Bertie in "to help others like I do."

"I was around when Bertie was born, and he's always been very calm," he said.

"I think that helps make him such a good donor."

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Blood donated by Bertie, and other canine donors, have allowed the RVC to carry out over 600 blood transfusions each year.

"We are indebted to the kindness and generosity of those wonder dogs and super cats and the fabulous people that look after them, as their gift of a blood donation means that other pets can live," said Dominic Barfield, senior lecturer in veterinary emergency and critical care at the RVC.

"We cannot thank them enough and our RVC blood donor team who make it all possible."

The RVC has used the blood to perform open-heart surgery, emergency and critical care, spinal surgery and cancer treatment since starting the programme in 2005.

The vet college said they are supported, with operational costs, by people like Burns Pet Food founder John Burns.

"As a Veterinary Surgeon and advocate of animal welfare, it gives me a great deal of satisfaction to be able to support a cause as worthy as the RVC blood transfusion service," Mr Burns said.

"I hope our donation will help many animals in need and this contribution will be the start of a great relationship."

RVC hopes that publicity will encourage more cat and dog donors in south Hertfordshire to donate blood.

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