Garden Grove animal blood bank, Hemopet, in jeopardy of closing due to tax-law exclusion

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (KABC) -- A Garden Grove organization that provides blood supplies for sick and injured dogs is in danger of closing down.

Dozens of Greyhounds formerly rescued from racing tracks become blood donors before they are adopted. Dr. Jean Dodds is the president and founder of Hemopet.

"That blood is used to save the lives of animals that have medical, critical emergencies that veterinarians need blood transfusions for. Also for newborn puppies that don't have any immunity because their mother didn't have colostrum," Dodds said.

Dodds said the nonprofit is in jeopardy. In 1965, a law was passed that made blood banks exempt from taxation as a medical emergency service, Dodds said. But the problem is that animal blood banks were not around at that time.

Although a bill is moving forward to make organizations like Hemopet exempt from such taxes, an amendment would require it to pay more than $80,000 for prior years.

If the outstanding bill isn't canceled, Hemopet may have to soon close its doors, the nonprofit said.

Hemopet said shutting down would mean 40 percent of the nation's life-saving canine blood would no longer be available, resulting in shortages.

Dodds and her husband, Charles Berman, are going to Sacramento to make a case before the Assembly Appropriations Committee to try to keep the business running.

To learn more about the rescue, visit
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