Service dogs have their day at NAIT's animal blood bank

Service dogs have their day at NAIT's animal blood bank

Published on June 22, 2019

Dogs with Wings trainees help fellow canines by donating blood to national service

EDMONTON – Ten service-dogs-in-training shared some puppy love at NAIT on Saturday by donating blood to help other canines in need.

The labs and lab-retriever crosses came from Dogs with Wings, an Edmonton-based non-profit group that trains and provides service dogs for the disabled. The dogs and their foster families each spent about 20 to 30 minutes at NAIT’s animal health clinic, a satellite site for the Canadian Animal Blood Bank based in Winnipeg.

NAIT holds regular donation days for the public and their pets about once a month, but this was the first time it had partnered with Dogs with Wings. The blood donated at NAIT is sent to Winnipeg, where it is distributed to vet clinics across Canada for dogs needing surgery, or to treat disease or trauma.


  • NAIT’s animal blood bank holds donor clinics open to the public twice a month, except in July. The next clinic will be August 24.
  • Dogs don’t need to be sedated to donate, and the donation itself takes only 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Dogs with Wings provides guide dogs for the blind, service dogs for people with disabilities, autism service dogs and facility dogs who work with victims’ services and in schools,



Dr. Elaine Degrandpre, NAIT’s senior veterinary medical officer
“This is a great partnership that we hope will continue. This will give us a new pool of donors so NAIT’s blood bank can continue to support the needs of our veterinary community and of dogs and their owners.”

Doreen Slessor, executive director, Dogs with Wings
“We’re delighted to be able to help other furry companions. The need is great, our dogs are healthy and even-tempered, and it seemed like the right thing to do. We look forward to making this an annual event for our dogs in training, and maybe even for our working assistance dogs if their clients are interested.”

About NAIT

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and skilled trades. With nearly 40,000 credit and non-credit students and a 95 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are essential to the provincial economy. NAIT also contributes to Alberta’s prosperity by helping business and industry become more competitive with Industry Solutions offered through its Productivity and Innovation Centre, including technology adoption, business and product innovation and industry-driven research. Recognized as one of Alberta’s top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.

Dogs with Wings Assistance Dog Society is a leader in the international community of assistance dog training schools. Their mission is to foster integration and independence for individuals with disabilities by providing them with highly trained assistance dogs and aftercare. They are a registered non-profit society with a volunteer board of directors.

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