When Tundra’s life began five years ago, she was in the care of Steinbach and Area Animal Rescue, and nobody could have predicted the huge impact this dog would have on everyone around her. 

Carey Hawkins of Niverville says Tundra has become a regular blood donor, helping countless dogs. 

“In addition to being the amazing dog that she already is, yes, I’m a little bit biased, but in addition to that, she is also a universal blood donor too,” says Hawkins. “So, she goes in once every three months, we go and do it out of Niverville Animal Hospital. There are actually several animal hospitals or clinics that do the blood donor clinics as well.” 

Just like humans, dogs need blood, too. 

The Canadian Animal Blood Bank collects blood from healthy donors to transfuse into critically ill animals across Canada.  

Each donation can make a difference in the lives of three other dogs, from cancer therapy support to surgery and times of trauma. 

Hawkins encourages dog owners to learn about blood donation to find out if your canine has what it takes to become a donor. You can find information at Canadian Animal Blood Bank or your local veterinarian.

Dogs at the blood donor clinic.Tundra (far right) with her friends at a blood donor clinic. (Photo Credit: Carey Hawkins)

Between blood donations, Tundra works as a therapy dog through St. John’s Ambulance, and she’s one of the animal ambassadors for Steinbach and Area Animal Rescue. 

“She is that one-in-a-million dog and I am so proud of her,” says Hawkins. “My husband and I feel very, very fortunate to have her and we just want to give back as much as we can because she's such an amazing dog.”

Tundra has donated blood six times. She likes to have her furry friend Ellie join her at the clinic and they give blood together, making it a fun experience.

Ellie is a 7-year-old Lab/Pointer mix and has also make six donations to the blood bank.

"Our experience has been very good," says her owner, Gwenda Olson. "Michael, the coordinator, is very patient with the dogs and owners. But the process isn't for everyone or every dog. The dogs have to be receptive to be restrained during the procedure."

Just like humans getting a snack after making a blood donation, canines also receive something tasty when they are done.

"They love the liver treats they're rewarded with afterwards," Olson says.