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Posted: 14th June 2024

Donor owners celebrated with lifetime achievement awards
Carol Ann Carlton, the winner of the Canine Lifetime Achievement Award, with her dog Semillon.
Owners awarded for their contributions to blood donor programme.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of World Blood Donor Day and 20 years since it launched its Blood Donor Programme, the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has awarded two pet owners with Lifetime Achievement Awards for their long-term commitment to pet blood donation.

The awards were presented by the RVC’s Animal Care Trust to one dog donor owner and one cat donor owner.

The Canine Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Carol Ann Carlton, who lives in Lincolnshire. She first joined the donor programme in 2005 after reading a leaflet at her local veterinary practice.

Since then, a total of 14 dogs owned by Ms Carlton have donated blood, making a total of 121 donations which have helped more than 242 dogs.

Ms Carlton said: “My dog Zinfandel was the starting point on this journey. I remember when Zinfandel first donated because he got his third ticket to become a champion at the Ridgeback Club of Great Britain while his donation patch was still visible. But to me he was already a hero because we had done something special by donating blood.’’

The Feline Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Catherine Kendall, a registered veterinary nurse from Stevenage. Since 2007, she has owned six cats and five dogs which have donated, helping around 150 animals.

Ms Kendall said: "I was really shocked and surprised to find out we had won the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“My animals all love coming into the hospital to donate, and it is not something I give a second thought about. If any of my animals ever need blood, I would want it to be available, and this is the only way to achieve that.”

The RVC Blood Donor Programme provides blood to the RVC’s Queen Mother Hospital for Animals. Last year, the hospital facilitated 711 transfusions.

Charlotte Russo, head transfusion medicine nurse at the RVC, said: "Our voluntary donation programme relies entirely on the goodwill of local pet owners. We are delighted to recognise Catherine and Carol Ann for their incredible generosity and commitment. Their support alone has enabled us to treat and care for hundreds of cats and dogs.

“Without dedicated owners like them and their superhero pets, we wouldn't be able to keep up with the demand for blood products that save lives every year.”

Information about how to join the donor programme is available on the RVC website.

Image © Royal Veterinary College

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