Dog Honored For Donating Blood 20 Times


Lurch has a heart as big as his body.

This 200-pound 2-year-old English mastiff is one brave dog. He has donated blood at least 20 times to save other dogs including a dog who became ill when he got into some rat poison.

Lurch is being honored for helping other canine friends by being named one of the Livingston County (Michigan) American Red Cross’ “Everyday Heroes.”

Joni Melvin-Thiede, Lurch’s owner, said, “The blood itself goes to a lot of places like MSU and goes to certain clinics. You really don’t end up knowing which dogs he helps, but his little picture goes on each bag so the person that gets it will actually know it.”

She did admit that Lurch will sometimes get a little lightheaded near the end of each of his blood draws, which occur about once every four weeks.

Melvin-Thiede said that Lurch is extremely cooperative with the nurses and is friendly with all of the other pets in the household which include seven cats, four pugs, an American mastiff and several kittens.

“Mastiffs are just like 200-pound pugs,” Melvin-Thiede said. “They’re just as friendly and just as goofy except they have a couple more zeros at the end of the weight.”

Source: Livingston Daily

25 Responses to “Dog Honored For Donating Blood 20 Times”

  1. The Lioness says:

    Mastiffs are wonderful, wonderful dogs.

    (I have to wonder, though, if Lurch would really give his consent for all those donations if he had a voice?)

    Also, sounds like somebody needs to spay/neuter some cats!

    ~The Lioness

  2. Denise says:

    I think he has done more than his share and it’s time to let another dog donate. I think just taking a couple from each dog might be ok but this is asking alot and I am with the Lioness on this one right down to the spay and neuter. Denise

  3. Anonymous says:

    “She did admit that Lurch will sometimes get a little lightheaded near the end of each of his blood draws, which occur about once every four weeks.”

    so, uh, Lurch volunteers HIMSELF for this huh?

    every FOUR WEEKS??? This sounds excessive to me.
    A dog has less blood volume than a human, right? How often could a human donate blood safely?

    And, please do inform me who is profiting from this?
    I think this is excessive. This dog should not be repeatedly donating.

  4. Anonymous says:

    here’s what creeps me out about this:
    a being without a voice to consent or not is strapped to a table and drained of some blood every 4 weeks.

    I feel sick.

  5. Anonymous says:

    ok it says “at least 20 times” - so that’s at least 5 months.

    sorry, i think this is abusive.

  6. Anonymous says:

    sorry this is off topic (sort of) but here are some juicy statistics on the frankenfood and drugpushers assoc. “failed to inspect a Chinese plant that produced the active ingredient for a crucial blood-thinning drug called heparin. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is supposed inspect foreign plants before permitting them to ship drugs or chemicals into the country. But FDA officials said this week that they mistook the plant for another with a similar name that already had been inspected. Chinese regulators also failed to inspect the plant.

    “That country has more than 700 plants approved to ship drugs to the U.S. Between 2002 and 2007, the FDA inspected just 88 of them. At that rate, it would need 40 years to inspect every Chinese plant now shipping drugs into this country.”

    “The drug safety agency conducts no unannounced plant visits overseas. Even when it does visit, inspectors have no independent translators. Obviously, the agency’s lack of language skills played a role in this tragedy. But so did the FDA’s faulty databases; the agency has conflicting information about the number of foreign plants shipping into the United States in two databases it maintains.”

    “…much of the inspection budget comes from user fees paid by drug companies”

  7. Jordan says:

    It really frustrates me how quick to blame people are on this website - it’s such a downer. I know everyone here cares passionately about animals, but try to look at things from multiple perspectives before letting the accusations fly!

    Why would anyone assume that this family hasn’t spayed/neutered their cats? Perhaps the family rescues cats! Perhaps they saved each of those “7 cats and several kittens” from abusive situations or death at a high-kill shelter.

    As for donating blood, I looked on the MSU vet school website and it says that once a month is a normal amount of time between donations. I personally donate human blood frequently and it is painless and easy. Plus it saves lives! I think everyone who has posted negatively would have a different reaction if his or her beloved dog was spared because of blood donated by Lurch. I think someone who cares enough about animals to trek her 200 pound dog to the vet month after month to help save other dogs is probably is a good person. I’d be surprised if money is involved at all. Even if it is, I’m sure the donation is not being done for the money. Taking care of a 200 lb dog is much more expensive than the amount of money that could be made donating blood.

  8. Denise says:

    for us I think its more than 4 weeks though that is to darn much. I would not be suprised if they were not paying her come on. saw that about the heaprin from china. so we keep buying from them the goverment should really get some grief over this too. I would not put my dog through that more than one time period. back to the dog 20 time one dog. she is getting paid and that is too much even 10 times is to much. she would probably do it more if they would let her. its pushing the dog.

  9. RoonieRoo says:

    I’m with you Jordon. The way the people on this site read every single story as further proof that they are the only people in the world that are good pet owners is sickening and frustrating.

    It is that very attitude that does the most damage to rescue programs and education of potential pet owners.

    Every story is the same, the initial comments are nothing but rocks thrown from glass houses.

  10. RoonieRoo says:

    I also do expect that every one of you will turn down life saving blood for you injured or ill pet.

    Because if you don’t, then I officially LABEL you a horrible person that should not be allowed to own pets. After all, you are perpetuating the abuse of innocent donor dogs and their evil money-grubbing owners.

  11. Denise says:

    its not the donations that bother me its too much to fast. they are taking blood from this dog every time he is able and probably going to put his health at risk. I took my dog to a specialty vet she had lymphoma cancer. the vet had some that donated its important to save other animals. she does not use them once a month she rotates them and yes the people get paid. this vet will not use the same animal without a break though. it has to be done but to much for one could be dangerous. no we don’t think we are the only ones that care. I just would not let my dog do it and take money for it. if I knew a dog was in trouble and needed her blood yes I would do it not for money and not every month maybe once in a while not more than twice a year. your missing the point this doesn’t do anything for her dog it really is just to much to soon. think about it.

  12. RoonieRoo says:

    Can I ask how everyone here knows that she does it for money? Have you found anything that verifies this or it is just more assumption that you all make because of your natural tendency to judge others?

    It is very fast and most of the donor groups do say that they don’t take that often except for emergency situations. But what is off-putting about the typical reaction this group of commenters does is that they base their judgments off of a single article and a few sentences and paint the pet owners with broad accusatory strokes.

  13. Tiggertoo says:

    Jordan and RonnieRoo are absolutely correct,
    everytime I read a story here SOMEONE from a certain ‘group’ of individuals are notorious for critisizing someone else in the story.
    No matter what…they WILL find something to whine about…

    Its a shame. There are alot of ‘holier than thou’ pet owners that hang out here and just look for the negative in each story, no matter WHAT.

  14. Thel Josenhans says:

    Hi ……..
    I’m a ,” Holier then thou ”
    Melvin Thierde ……….. you couldn’t possiable ……… love ” Lurch ”
    you are playing , the good guy ………. you are not.
    This dog isn’t donating , His blood ,of , His own free will ……….
    you are, forcing Him to.
    the is exessive ……..abusive
    Why don’t you give blood , that often ………. some places , will pay you.
    Vets …..charge ….big money….. for blood
    I can , just bet ………. you are selling , Lurch’s blood .
    I think , you are not fit to …….have animals , if this is the way , you treat them .
    I would sell , my own blood , before , I would ever , put my animals , threw , the hell , you are putting , your dog threw.
    Giving blood , is putting Him , at risk .
    YOU ARE , A REAL , JERK , that wants praise , for putting , your dog , threw hell , so , He’s a big dog ………….. He has feeling , hurts , gets weak , TRY IT , GIVING BLOOD IS ……….. NO PICNIC.
    T.K.J. Thel

  15. Sharon says:

    I think the frequency is excessive and I have no doubt money is changing hands. No one is that altruistic.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I found this article on canine blood donation quite interesting:

    I was shocked at the negative response to this article. I assumed the animals were all rescues and that this dog was a particularly welcome candidate for blood donation. After reading up on blood donation for dogs I am more convinced that this is the case — and that this is a particularly thoughtful family in the community. Noting further that Lurch is being honored for his contributions I can’t help but think those nominating and honoring Lurch would not do so if there was anything suspect in the situation.

    And just for the record, many people volunteer countless hours to community service as a way of life, sometimes including a beloved family pet. I agree with others that perhaps we should not be so hasty to criticize the actions of others — particularly in areas we may not fully understand.

    My thanks to Lur

  17. Anonymous says:

    To finish that thought….

    My thanks to Lurch and his family for showing a great example and highlighting a need. Without the time and sacrifice of human volunteers we would not have blood banks or milk banks. I hadn’t thought much about blood banks for dogs or cats since thankfully our family hasn’t had a need. But donations are clearly necessary. In the grand scheme of things it would be a small price to pay for one of the well-loved rescues in our household. They lead fabulous lives and an occasional donation from an easy-going dog would not be too much to ask. I trust this pet owner knows her dog and is quite well-educated with regard to blood donation.

  18. Don Earl says:

    RE: “I was shocked at the negative response to this article.”

    From what I can tell, the objections are largely due to the frequency.

    If memory serves me correctly, human blood donors aren’t allowed to give blood more often than once every 6-8 weeks. And yes, there are those who believe so strongly it’s for a worthy cause, they go as often as allowed.

    There’s also the old saw that charity begins at home. I doubt many of those balking at this article would have similar objections if this was being done 1 to 4 times a year, rather than 20 times in a year and a half.

  19. Tiggertoo says:

    RE: “I doubt many of those balking at this article would have similar objections if this was being done 1 to 4 times a year”

    “Au contraire.” Don Earl.

    Maybe true for SOME of the folks here but I assure you that it does not apply to all here.

    The point is that there are certain people on this forum who will find something negative to say about any story on this forum which is a darn shame AND I’m sure that it gets pretty frustrating to the editors who write the stories at times.

    I think sometimes certain individuals here take Itchmo for granted and seem to think that its some type of government service that they are entitled to. Sometimes its best to keep your negative attitudes to yourselves and instead THANK Itchmo for being here to bring us the stories. They are not forced to do it.
    Alot more gratitude and ALOT less GRIPING would be nice.

    The comment about the cats being spayed and neutered was a good example. What the heck??? Just because you think that someone has more than 2 cats that they are not altered?
    Give me a break.
    THAT is the kind of attitudes that I’m talking about.

    Have any of the critisizing people here ever done research on how often is safe for a dog to give blood??? I have not, so I dont know.

    However I DO know that my husband fainted 20 years ago when they drew blood for a marriage test. (first time EVER having blood drawn)
    I guess that THAT also means that he gave too much.

    ALOT of people get lightheaded giving blood…it doesnt prove a thing.

  20. Tiggertoo says:

    I guess that the people that rescue countless animals would not be considered ‘THAT altruistic’ in your opinion either?

    You think that they are being payed to do that too right?

    ‘altruistic - showing unselfish concern for the welfare of others’
    Hmmm, I know of alot of people that I would like you to meet that would change your mind….

  21. Don Earl says:

    RE: “I think sometimes certain individuals here take Itchmo for granted and seem to think that its some type of government service that they are entitled to. Sometimes its best to keep your negative attitudes to yourselves and instead THANK Itchmo for being here to bring us the stories. They are not forced to do it.”

    Compredez paid advertising? Itchmo gets paid.

    You will note that many of the articles tend to be controversial. You know, the sort of thing likely to draw commentary. Without the comments, Itchmo doesn’t have anything to sell the advertisers. For the record, I don’t see anything wrong with that. Bandwidth costs money, writers have to be paid and managing a big website takes a lot of time. Itchmo should get paid. It’s a good site and many of the articles are interesting and informative.

    With that said, I also sometimes find the majority opinion at odds with my own views, and am surprised at times by some of the comments. So what? Everyone has a right to their opinion and it would be a strange world if everyone agreed on everything on every subject. There are places in the world where that isn’t allowed and I wouldn’t want to live in any of them.

    Prior to the pet food recall and the death of my cat, I spent a lot of time on political message boards. Itchmo is sweetness and light on its worst days compared to some of the discussions I’ve seen. Anyone likely to burst into tears if someone disagrees with their views is going to spend a lot of time crying in any open discussion forum. Grow a thicker skin and accept the concept it isn’t personal. Sheesh, one of my best friends is a hardcore Republican and thinks Bush walks on water. Personally, I dislike most D and R politicians pretty much equally, but I’d vote for Nixon before I’d vote for Bush. We agree to disagree on that subject and have a great time when we visit. It’s no big deal.

    Sure, altruists do exist, but I think you’ll find that in the real world, assuming altruism to be the prime motivating factor of the human race would be somewhat naive.

  22. ROFLMAO says:

    LOL Don Earl….you really DO make me laugh…seriously!
    You are someone who thinks your ALWAYS right, no matter what!
    You have the best answers to everything, and think you always have to get the last word in,,,lol I find people like you humorous.

    I would image that you ARE a politician.
    Either that or one of those ol farts that hang out in the coffee house half the day, sitting around talkin about women drivers - (as you pull out from the cof shop in front of someone doing 30 in a 45mph zone….)

    Yep, your very impressive…lol

  23. Don Earl says:

    RE: “Yep, your very impressive…lol

    Did you mean “you’re very impressive”? :)

    RE: “You are someone who thinks your ALWAYS right, no matter what!”

    Which makes me different from you in what way?

  24. ROFLMAO says:

    WOW…I’m surprised that that’s all ya got.
    I expected MUCH more from you…;)

  25. Joni Melvin-Thiede says:

    Just for the record people I am the happy and lucky person that gets to enjoy my life with the wonderful Lurch. I am not a bad person who abuses my dog by forcing him to donate blood monthly. He only donates monthly when necc. He also does do it for FREE!!!! We have NEVER been offered or asked for any kind of payment. The only thing ever given was a wonderful bone when he was given his award from the American red cross. Also we do RESCUE our pets. I work at an emergency vet clinic and have paid for the medical expenses of over 50 pets to have help when the owners wanted to euthanize. So please the next time you want to bad mouth someone at least get the facts first. THANK YOU to all that came to our defense and did not jump to conclusions about us. For those negative ones I hope you are never in the position to need blood for your animal cause you will feel like an ?$!&)@” when you take it and think of this article.

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