SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wilk, representing the 21st Senate District, announced Tuesday that his “Doggie Donor Bill” passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee. Senate Bill 202 (SB 202) allows for an improved method of collecting blood donations from animals.
“Pets across California run the risk of no available blood when they are in crisis. Our shortage of animal blood has resulted in many people losing a pet simply because blood was not available when the animal was in need,” Wilk said in a news release. “This is something that can be remedied and should be. My bill will go a long way toward relieving the shortage, while at the same time providing for a much more humane way to collect blood from animals.”
Veterinarians rely on animal blood banks to perform transfusions and other life-saving operations in their practices, but California’s regulatory framework has limited available options in the state, resulting in only two commercially licensed animal blood banks. Additionally, animals in these ‘closed-colony’ facilities are caged for years at a time to draw blood.
SB 202 will expand the pool of available animal blood donations by allowing for volunteer donations from pets – not unlike how people give blood. This practice, referred to as “community blood banking,” is allowed in every state but California. SB 202 would require community blood banks to be commercially licensed and meet health and safety standards set by the state.
“Animals should be able to go home after they donate blood, just like people do,” Wilk said. “Allowing for this compassionate method of collecting blood is the right thing to do for all our furry friends. I’m thankful to my colleagues for their support, and I look forward to continuing this work going forward.”
SB 202 is sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation and has support from the California Veterinary Medical Association, California Veterinary Medical Board, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
SB 202 will now be heard in the Assembly Committee on Agriculture.
[Information via news release from the office of Senator Scott Wilk.]