This week, Emmy winner Lily Tomlin sent a letter on PETA's behalf to the heads of the Illinois-based American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) urging them to act in response to PETA’s recent eyewitness exposé of Hemopet, a canine blood bank and sham rescue facility that warehouses approximately 200 greyhounds bred for and discarded by the racing industry.
In the letter, Tomlin urges the AVMA to advise veterinarians not to source blood from “closed-colony” facilities such as Hemopet, where dogs are confined to tiny crates and barren kennels for up to 23 hours a day and bled every 10 to 14 days for 18 months or more, which is considered unacceptable by veterinary standards. She notes that adopting this policy recently became more urgent: Florida residents recently voted to end greyhound racing, meaning that hundreds — if not thousands — of dogs will soon be discarded and at risk of being held captive for blood.
“Most decent vets have no idea that dogs are being confined in this way and would not support such a scheme,” writes Tomlin. “Ethical blood programs rely on donor dogs who live in homes — these animals get off the couch so that they can be taken in to donate blood once in a while, and then they get a treat and a pat on the head and go home.”