California canine blood bank disputes PETA abuse claims - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

California canine blood bank disputes PETA abuse claims

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Amy Taxin). In this Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, photo, manager Karen Stalk watches as a worker returns a greyhound after donating blood at Hemopet canine blood bank in Garden Grove, Calif. The organization said the dogs are walked at least five... (AP Photo/Amy Taxin). In this Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, photo, manager Karen Stalk watches as a worker returns a greyhound after donating blood at Hemopet canine blood bank in Garden Grove, Calif. The organization said the dogs are walked at least five...
(PETA via AP). This 2018 photo provided by the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals shows a greyhound in an enclosure at Hemopet canine blood bank in Garden Grove, Calif. PETA has filed a complaint alleging mistreatment of do... (PETA via AP). This 2018 photo provided by the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals shows a greyhound in an enclosure at Hemopet canine blood bank in Garden Grove, Calif. PETA has filed a complaint alleging mistreatment of do...
(PETA via AP). This 2018 photo provided by the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals shows a greyhound after having blood taken at Hemopet canine blood bank in Garden Grove, Calif. PETA has filed a complaint alleging mistreatm... (PETA via AP). This 2018 photo provided by the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals shows a greyhound after having blood taken at Hemopet canine blood bank in Garden Grove, Calif. PETA has filed a complaint alleging mistreatm...
(PETA via AP). This 2018 photo provided by the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals shows a greyhound with red, peeling skin on its nose at Hemopet canine blood bank in Garden Grove, Calif. PETA's observer said a staff member... (PETA via AP). This 2018 photo provided by the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals shows a greyhound with red, peeling skin on its nose at Hemopet canine blood bank in Garden Grove, Calif. PETA's observer said a staff member...
(AP Photo/Amy Taxin). This Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, photo shows a greyhound in a crate at Hemopet in Garden Grove, Calif. The nonprofit organization that runs a canine blood bank and places greyhounds in adoptive homes said dogs are housed in crates a... (AP Photo/Amy Taxin). This Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, photo shows a greyhound in a crate at Hemopet in Garden Grove, Calif. The nonprofit organization that runs a canine blood bank and places greyhounds in adoptive homes said dogs are housed in crates a...
  • NationalMore>>

  • APNewsBreak: California revisits three-strike life sentences

    APNewsBreak: California revisits three-strike life sentences

    Friday, October 19 2018 12:52 AM EDT2018-10-19 04:52:50 GMT
    California will reconsider life sentences for thousands of nonviolent third-strike criminals by allowing them to seek parole under a ballot measure approved by voters two years ago.More >>
    California will reconsider life sentences for thousands of nonviolent third-strike criminals by allowing them to seek parole under a ballot measure approved by voters two years ago.More >>
  • Feds: Child exploitation focus of Pennsylvania church probe

    Feds: Child exploitation focus of Pennsylvania church probe

    Friday, October 19 2018 12:52 AM EDT2018-10-19 04:52:48 GMT
    (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, File). FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2018, file photo, U.S. Attorney William McSwain is shown at a news conference in Philadelphia. McSwain sent out grand jury subpoenas last week to Pennsylvania dioceses as...(David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, File). FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2018, file photo, U.S. Attorney William McSwain is shown at a news conference in Philadelphia. McSwain sent out grand jury subpoenas last week to Pennsylvania dioceses as...
    A federal prosecutor in Pennsylvania is taking aim at the Roman Catholic church by opening a grand jury investigation centered on child exploitation.More >>
    A federal prosecutor in Pennsylvania is taking aim at the Roman Catholic church by opening a grand jury investigation centered on child exploitation.More >>
  • Todd Bol, founder of Little Free Library book sharing, dies

    Todd Bol, founder of Little Free Library book sharing, dies

    Friday, October 19 2018 12:52 AM EDT2018-10-19 04:52:44 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File). FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2012 file photo, Todd Bol poses with a Little Free Library lending boxes in Hudson, Wis. Bol, who founded Little Free Library, the boxes of books for sharing that popped up across the U.S. and spread to...(AP Photo/Jim Mone, File). FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2012 file photo, Todd Bol poses with a Little Free Library lending boxes in Hudson, Wis. Bol, who founded Little Free Library, the boxes of books for sharing that popped up across the U.S. and spread to...
    The Wisconsin man who founded Little Free Library, the boxes of books for sharing that popped up across the U.S. and spread to more than 80 countries, has died.More >>
    The Wisconsin man who founded Little Free Library, the boxes of books for sharing that popped up across the U.S. and spread to more than 80 countries, has died.More >>

By AMY TAXIN
Associated Press

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (AP) - The animal rights group PETA alleges dogs at one of the nation's largest canine blood banks are mistreated, but the non-profit that runs the Southern California facility says the retired racing greyhounds are well-cared for and save other dogs' lives.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent complaints this week to California and local authorities alleging the 200 greyhounds kept at Hemopet don't receive proper care and are cooped up nearly all day in pens too small for their size. The group contends confining dogs in a facility to draw their blood is wrong and says they should be placed in homes and only donate blood if their owners opt to bring them in.

Hemopet, which has operated for decades, said the dogs are well-cared for and get regular walks and outdoor play time at its 1.5 acre Orange County campus. The organization said the greyhounds participate in a state-regulated canine blood donor program for about 10 months before they are placed in well-screened adoptive homes.

Veterinary experts said there is a demand for canine blood to treat ill pets and those in need of emergency surgery. How to meet this need, however, is subject to debate.

"Community" blood banks rely on walk-in pet donors while "closed" banks such as Hemopet require dogs to live on-site while giving blood. The controlled setting ensures blood is free of diseases.

California requires the closed model be used for commercial canine blood banks, said Hemopet's president Dr. Jean Dodds. She said she believes pets living in people's homes would need to be retested for disease before each blood donation to provide a comparable level of safety, and even then it might not be possible to safeguard the supply.

Hemopet supplies about 40 percent of the commercial blood bank products sold in the United States and is one of two such authorized facilities in California, Dodds said.

Dodds said the greyhounds would be killed if they weren't rescued from the racing industry. Hemopet provides medical care and spays and neuters the dogs and screens them to assess whether they are suitable donors. Greyhounds often have a "universal" blood type, she said, meaning it can be used for any canine transfusion.

"There's some people who just think doing anything with animals are bad," she said. "What if your own animal needed a blood transfusion? What would you do?"

In a letter to California's Department of Food and Agriculture, PETA alleged that dogs' tails, paws and nails are injured in small cages where they're kept 23 hours a day, and blood is drawn at times from animals suspected of illness. PETA - which has called for an end to greyhound racing - said its allegations were based on reports from an undisclosed eyewitness.

"She doesn't put them up for adoption until she is done bleeding them and that is outrageous," said Lisa Lang, PETA's senior vice president, referring to Dodds. "They are living, breathing dogs who deserve to live in loving homes like any other."

PETA provided photos and video showing the dogs in cages and wearing muzzles. The group said they obtained the footage from the witness.

Upon a request for an interview, Hemopet immediately agreed to allow an Associated Press reporter to tour its facility in Garden Grove. Some dogs were kept in crates and cages while others were housed in longer pens in pairs. Most had blankets and toys and took turns in larger cement yards for recreation. They had a sandy strip for running and a grassy area where volunteer visitors walked them. One dog had a neck bandage from where blood had been drawn. None of the dogs seen by an AP reporter showed any visible signs of distress.

Manager Karen Stalk said dogs in crates are walked five times a day by staff and more by visitors.

Jay Van Rein, a spokesman for California's Department of Food and Agriculture, said the complaint was received and the agency will investigate. He said the facility is inspected by the state every year.

Jim Gartland, executive director of the National Greyhound Association, said his organization can bar members from sending dogs to facilities that don't meet its standards, which occurred in a case in Texas, but so far they have heard only positive things about Hemopet.

He said they have no problem with sending greyhounds to blood banks so long as they are treated properly and adopted out to homes after their service.

Veterinarians consulted by PETA, however, called the conditions "unacceptable" and "cruel."

Dr. Sean Owens, medical director of University of California, Davis' veterinary blood bank, said controlled settings such as Hemopet allow for clean blood but modern veterinary science has progressed so that it can be obtained from "community" banks.

"There is enough evidence out there, both in the human and veterinary literature, to suggest it can be done very safely in an open colony," he said.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • In posthumous message, Hawking says science under threat

    In posthumous message, Hawking says science under threat

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 8:19 PM EDT2018-10-18 00:19:58 GMT
    Stephen Hawking has spoken from beyond the grave to warn that science and education are under threat around the world.More >>
    Stephen Hawking has spoken from beyond the grave to warn that science and education are under threat around the world.More >>
  • Salesforce vs. Twitter in San Francisco homeless tax fight

    Salesforce vs. Twitter in San Francisco homeless tax fight

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 10:54 PM EDT2018-10-17 02:54:04 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu). In this Oct. 1, 2018 photo, Stormy Nichole Day, left, sits on a sidewalk on Haight Street with Nord (last name not given) and his dog Hobo while interviewed about being homeless in San Francisco. A measure on San Francisco's Nov. ...(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu). In this Oct. 1, 2018 photo, Stormy Nichole Day, left, sits on a sidewalk on Haight Street with Nord (last name not given) and his dog Hobo while interviewed about being homeless in San Francisco. A measure on San Francisco's Nov. ...
    San Francisco voters have a measure on the Nov. 6 ballot that would tax hundreds of the city's wealthiest companies to help thousands of homeless and mentally ill.More >>
    San Francisco voters have a measure on the Nov. 6 ballot that would tax hundreds of the city's wealthiest companies to help thousands of homeless and mentally ill.More >>
  • Trump marvels at hurricane damage, hears stories of struggle

    Trump marvels at hurricane damage, hears stories of struggle

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 12:59 PM EDT2018-10-16 16:59:45 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump board Air Force One for a trip to visit areas affected by Hurricane Michael, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump board Air Force One for a trip to visit areas affected by Hurricane Michael, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
    Trump, first lady arrive in Florida to survey areas devastated by Hurricane Michael.More >>
    Trump, first lady arrive in Florida to survey areas devastated by Hurricane Michael.More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms