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MSPCA and MGH team up to help people and pets in need
Humans and hounds giving blood at a joint drive to benefit the MSPCA-Angell Animal Medical Center and the Mass General Hospital Blood Donor Center

BOSTON - October 23, 2006 - - It should be no surprise that patients undergoing emergency surgery or cancer treatments are often in need of blood transfusions. But many people may not know the need applies to all patients - including people and their canine companions. In an effort to meet the ever-increasing demand for safe blood supplies, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA)-Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) are hosting the Human and Hound community blood drive on November 4, 2006 from 8am until 2pm. The community drive is thought to be the first of its kind in the area.

"Advances in veterinary medicine have resulted in many more animals being given another chance at life," says Silvia Coviello, MSPCA-Angell's Blood Bank Supervisor. "Many times, our doctor's efforts to save an animal require one or more blood transfusions. The veterinarians at Angell Animal Medical Center rely on the donations from healthy, well-behaved pets for a consistent supply of life-saving blood."

Owners must make an appointment for their dog and each pet must meet strict requirements before being allowed to donate. Dog donors must weigh 50 pounds or more, be between the ages of 1 and 6 years old, and all vaccinations must be current. In addition, they must have no history pregnancy or blood transfusions. While dogs will be the only animals allowed to donate blood at this event, cats and other pets can donate blood through the Angell Blood Donor Program during regular hours.

Just as in dogs, blood is critically needed when people are injured in car accidents, undergoing chemotherapy or surgical procedures. It is a medicine that can only be given from one person to another - and volunteers are needed on a daily basis. People weighing more than 110 pounds and age 17 or older can visit the MGH bloodmobile on site at the Angell Animal Medical Center on the day of the drive. The state of the art, completely self-contained and self-supporting bus contains two soundproof medical history booths, four blood donation beds plus a refreshment area. A nurse and a phlebotomist will be on hand to facilitate each donor's visit that usually takes only 30 minutes.

"In addition to boosting critically needed blood supplies, we hope this drive raises awareness about the continued need for blood donors of all types," says Kimberley Cronin, manager of blood donor services at Mass General.

About MSPCA-Angell
Protecting and caring for 250,000 animals per year - more than any other humane society in the nation - the MSPCA-Angell owns and operates three world-class Angell Animal Medical Centers and seven MSPCA Animal Care and Adoption Centers statewide. Founded in 1868 by George T. Angell, the organization has grown to more than 120,000 supporters from all 50 states and 27 countries. The MSPCA-Angell is a private, nonprofit organization and receives no government funding at all, instead relying on the generosity of people who care deeply about helping animals.

Massachusetts General Hospital, established in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of nearly $500 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, transplantation biology and photomedicine. MGH and Brigham and Women's Hospital are founding members of Partners HealthCare HealthCare System, a Boston-based integrated health care delivery system.

Media Contacts: Emily Parker, MGH Public Affairs

Brian Adams, MSPCA Angell

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