Senator Scott Wilk, representing the 21st Senate District, announced recently that Senate Bill 202 (SB 202), his “Doggie Donor Bill,” has passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee. SB 202 allows for an improved, more humane 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,” said Senator Wilk. “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 products provided by animal blood banks to perform transfusions and other life-saving operations in their practices; however, California’s restrictive regulatory framework has limited available options in the state resulting in only two commercially licensed blood banks leaving California pet owners and veterinarians with a limited supply of blood. In addition, animals in these ‘closed-colony’ facilities are caged for years at a time in these facilities to draw blood.
The solution provided in SB 202 is simple: 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,” said Wilk. “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 a number of veterinary medicine and animal advocacy groups, including 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.
Senator Wilk represents the 21st Senate District which includes the Antelope, Santa Clarita and Victor Valleys.