A homeless mongrel donates blood, daily, to save the life of a pedigreed cousin.

At the District Veterinary Centre (DVC) here, a selfless life-saving exercise is on. Jeni, a two-year-old female mongrel, and a shelter home resident, is donating blood to Kittu, 3, a German Shepherd.

The pedigreed recipient, leading a cushy life at his master’s house at Madan Nada here, had developed a mysterious appetite-loss a month ago and was brought to veterinary surgeon Sajay Kumar at the DVC. Kittu was diagnosed with ehrlichia, a tick-borne bacteria that infects white blood cells of the host leading to low platelet count. His weight had almost halved.

A blood test revealed that the count had dropped to an alarming low warranting an immediate blood transfusion.

Then began the hunt for a donor. Jeni, one of the 20 stray dogs sheltered by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at a home in the DVC complex, was chosen because she was the healthiest of the lot.

Jeni has been donating 150 ml blood a day for the past two days.

The transfusion, reportedly the first in the DVC, will continue for four more days. Dr. Kumar says Kittu, who is being brought daily to the DVC for the transfusion, is improving and has started taking liquid food.

A complete recovery is expected by next week.

Kittu will go home hale and healthy, perhaps never to return to the DVC. But, his life-saver will still be looking for a home and a master.

More In: Kerala | National