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Animal clinics hopeful new local blood bank will benefit pets

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 FARGO, N.D. — Many of us have donated blood before, but what about our pets?

Just like people, dogs and cats also need blood and plasma transfusions, but that can be challenging with limited resources.

To help serve the need in Fargo-Moorhead, the Red River Animal Emergency Clinic is adding a pet blood bank.

"It will be able to save more dog lives and not have to transfer them to the cities for referral if we don't have any products," says Carlene Ternis.

As it stands right now, the clinic supports the entire Fargo-Moorhead area in supplying blood to clinics like the Animal Health Clinic.

"Especially if it's a rare blood type, sometimes it's hard to maybe have that in stock," says Natalie Gruchow with Animal Health Clinic. "But things might change now, with the new blood bank that's going to be available."

That new in-house blood bank will come in August, allowing the Emergency Animal Clinic to have the right supplies on hand.

"There's a lot of times where we don't have a very large inventory or specific blood products that we need," says Ternis. "So by having an in-house blood bank, we should be able to have all the products when we need them."

The clinic currently orders blood products from a commercial blood bank, which can take up to three weeks to backorder.

"Last summer we went through quite a few months where we were just always low on blood products and it was very stressful for me as the one ordering them to have an inventory that could supply the community," says Ternis. "So yeah, there's definitely a demand in this area for a blood bank."

The clinic will now be able to support surrounding clinics within a 150 mile radius.

If you do want your pet to donate blood or plasma, you can call the clinic to set up an appointment to see if your pet is eligible.

If they are, they will get their annual bloodwork free as well as a goodie bag on donation day.

The Red River Animal Emergency Clinic will also see changes in its location.

It will be moving into the old Golden Corral location off of 23rd Ave. S. in Fargo.

The move will allow the clinic to triple in size and double in staff.

With added personnel, it will now operate 24/7,.relieving much of its staff from having to be on-call.

Once the clinic receives a permit, construction will be completed by August.

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