SACRAMENTO – Senate Bill 202, the Doggy Donor bill, has cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to the bill’s author, Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, representing the 21st Senate District.
“Every day, pets turn up in the veterinarian’s office in need of blood,” Wilk said. “Some have been hit by a car, eat something they shouldn’t or are just plain sick. The reality is the blood supply for pets is woefully inadequate and that needs to change. SB 202 will ensure there are more animal donors in the system which means the blood donation supply will increase. No one should lose a pet because blood couldn’t be located.”
Ambiguity in existing law has led to a relatively limited regulatory scheme for animal blood banks – leading the California Department of Food and Agriculture only to approve commercial licensure for closed-colony banks, which house dogs and cats for the specific purpose of taking their blood.
Forty-nine other states already allow for flexibility in this matter, and this bill will bring California in line with the rest of the nation.
Animal blood banks serve an important role in California’s veterinary medical community but have lacked in supply in recent years – leading to a shortage of blood. Opening up the market to community-based blood banks – which allow private pet owners to volunteer their animals for donation – would greatly help to curb this shortage and keep pets around the state healthy and happy.
“California is the only state in the nation that does not allow community-based blood donations,” Wilk said. “SB 202 will update our law to ensure a more robust supply of blood and humane treatment of the donor animals. Human blood donors go home to their families after donating; animal donors should be treated the same way. California is woefully behind the rest of the nation on this matter, which is why I introduced the Doggy Donor Bill.”