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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 January 2007, 11:38 GMT
Police dogs become blood donors
Police dog
Police dogs often require blood while receiving treatment
Dogs working for a Scottish police force are to become blood donors to help tackle a national supply shortage.

Central Scotland Police said its 16 animals would be registered with a scheme to help save the lives of canine colleagues and other dogs.

The force uses a variety of breeds, including German Shepherds, Cocker and Springer Spaniels and Rottweilers.

Officers said they hoped the move would encourage other dog owners to bring their pets forward and make donations.

Sgt Cameron Shanks said Central Scotland Police had in the past taken it for granted that there were adequate blood supplies for its dogs which required medical treatment.

"If one of our dogs was injured in the line of duty we'd expect there to be blood supplies to assist," he said.

"It seems only right that our dogs give something back that will help others."

Yvonne McGrotty, who works with Stirling-based veterinary practice Broadleys, said there was an urgent need for canine and feline blood donors.

"We often have to rely on veterinary staff to allow their own dog or cat to donate blood to save the lives of other animals," she added.

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