Meet my rescued Muppet sloth dog, Jovie:
When we first met at the shelter, she was just your average street #TeenMom dog, skinny (I swear), not spayed, and scared of most people, places, and things. Things I learned Jovie likes include tummy rubs, long walks, and eating trash (to stay true to her roots). ?
Jovie is my world, and I’d do almost anything for her—just like I know she’d do for me if our roles were reversed. So when she collapsed from a stroke right in front of me, my heart fell out of my chest. I picked up her limp body and ran to the vet’s office next door.
Hi friends, I've been diagnosed with #IMHA, an autoimmune disorder that attacks my red blood cells. My spleen and liver are enlarged and I'm really jaundiced. So far, I've only needed one blood transfusion and am trying my best to come home to my mutha and to all of you but I'll probably be here a few more nights. Thank you for all the love! More updates to come. ? ? #RescueDog #VSCOcam
As it turned out, she was critically anemic and had so few red blood cells that a clot had formed in her brain, causing her to have a stroke. ? She was later diagnosed with a genetic disease called immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, which meant her own immune system was attacking perfectly healthy and normal red blood cells in her body, which deliver oxygen to all her organs.
Her organs started shutting down, and she became jaundiced. She’d need a blood transfusion if she were to survive. Of course, I said yes.
Because of intensive and regular veterinary care, I’m happy to say Jovie has been able to enjoy almost three more adoptaversaries, countless belly rubs, camping trips, and endless love and affection from yours truly. ❣
But at what cost?
Just last week, I learned that sensitive dogs have been exploited, been abused, and even died in exchange for helping other dogs. PETA broke an exposé of The Pet Blood Bank, Inc., a dog blood factory farm, which is keeping about 150 greyhounds in a filthy, dirt-floored shed that used to be a turkey factory farm.
As you’re reading this, many of these dogs, abandoned by the cruel greyhound racing industry, are likely pacing and spinning in circles. Some were denied adequate veterinary care for decaying teeth and open pressure sores. Many had ticks on them as they sat in the scorching Texas summer heat.
And then comes the bleeding. Earlier this year, workers dragged these scared dogs to a trailer, where up to 20 percent of their blood volume was extracted at a time. Some of them became so weak that they had to be carried back to the kennels. ?
I’ll never forget how weak and miserable Jovie looked when she was depleted of red blood cells and would never have imagined a place that farms dogs for their blood even existed or that bringing my dog back to life might have come at the expense of weak, abandoned, and unloved dogs in misery.
I love Jovie with all my heart, my soul, and my wallet, but I would NEVER sentence other dogs to a lifetime of loneliness, pain, and fear in exchange for her life. ?
As guardians, we make a commitment to our animals, but above all, we must always be committed to our own humanity. Every single one of those dogs deeply craves and deserves love, a family, exercise, veterinary care, and a good life.
I’m waiting to hear from Jovie’s old vet to learn where the canine blood products that saved her were obtained from, and I encourage anyone who cares about animals to urge your vet to ensure ethical donor blood sourcing from animals who live at home with their families.
Just one day after PETA’s exposé, Patterson Veterinary Supply, the company that purchased and distributed The Pet Blood Bank’s dog blood to veterinary hospitals across the country announced that it had terminated business with the outfit and claimed that it would “work to support … efforts to ensure that the animals receive appropriate care.”