A rescue dog who fosters orphaned kittens is also saving their eyesight by donating her blood. Jemmie the dog is a kitten-loving canine who lives in Sacramento with her owner, Sacramento SPCA foster care specialist Sarah Varanini. “(She’s) a happy soul,” Varanini told KCRA, an NBC affiliate in Sacramento that aired the story. “(She’s) never met someone she didn’t like — never met a kitten she didn’t like.”
Varanini adopted Jemmie five years ago. Together they foster orphaned kittens. “Every spring and summer we take home kittens, and she helps raise them,” Varanini said. “She’s got three at home right now.” This motherly little pooch is also responsible for donating blood that is used to make a serum that can combat a virus that causes blindness in cats, according the the KCRA report. “She’s also helping them heal eye infections,” Varanini said. “She doesn’t mind her blood being drawn. She gets a treat afterwards.”
Some of the orphaned kittens who are rescued by the SPCA suffer from a common virus that causes eye ulcers and eventual loss of sight. Veterinarian Laurie Siperstein-Cook explained that anti-viral properties in Jemmie’s blood are more effective than prescription drugs and more cost effective.
“It’s the same blood tube you would use if you went to the doctor and they drew blood,” Siperstein-Cook told KCRA. “Usually within a week we will know if it’s working or not.” The blood is separated in a centrifuge to isolate the serum that’s administered as eye drops. “It’s a cool thing,” said Varanini. “And you wouldn’t think that it can work, but it does.”