The search is on for potential new recruits to the ranks of canine lifesavers this New Year.

A charity which operates a pet blood donor service is looking to keep stocks up over the festive period to ensure supplies are maintained to help poorly pups.

The Pet Blood Bank UK said just one donation of blood can help to save the lives of up to four other needy dogs.

Stock levels of lifesaving blood for dogs can get low over the holiday season so new recruits are welcomed at the charity’s regional centre, based at Westways Vets, in Houghton-le-Spring.

The Northern Echo: Blood donor dog Snowy sporting the charity's red colours and logo

Dogs aged between one and eight-years-old which are above 25kg, plus fit, healthy, confident, and who enjoy meeting new people are being asked to register at the crucial time of the year for blood stocks.

During December, the charity is said to often experience a dip in donations as many people go away for the holiday and find themselves busier than normal.

Pet Blood Bank UK is said to be similar to the human blood service, but for dogs.

Donations from four-legged donors across the UK go towards helping to save the lives of other dogs in need.

The Northern Echo:

Dogs across the UK have access to the lifesaving blood should they ever need it, so it considered a vital service.

The donation itself takes between five and ten minutes, but owners should expect their dogs to be with the blood bank team for around 35 to 40 minutes.

Dogs receive a full health check from the Pet Blood Bank UK vet before donating and are showered with treats, fuss, and attention throughout their appointment.

They even leave with a goody bag and toy to take home, as well as the pride of being a lifesaver.

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Launched in 2007, Pet Blood Bank UK is the only charity that provides a blood bank service for all vets across the UK.

The donated blood is taken to the charity’s processing centre, in Loughborough, Leicestershire, where it is separated into red blood cells and plasma products and stored ready for dispatch.

Anyone interested in registering their dog to assist the lifesaving service can book an appointment for a future donation session at Westways Vets by visiting, or by calling (01509) 232222.