Taft College Athletics Director Kanoe Bandy was enjoying the National Football League Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York City when the calls came.
She ignored them until there was a break.
The calls came from the Taft Veterinary Hospital and her sister, Mahea Maui, and there was an element of urgency to both.
Longtime Taft vet Dr. George Ross wanted Bandy’s permission to perform a blood transfusion he hoped would save the life of a ranch dog that had ingested squirrel poison.
Specifically, he wanted to use Bandy’s pit bull mix Piddle as the donor. He was being boarded at the pet hospital while Bandy, her husband Don and Tony Thompson were in New York.
“Of course I said yes right away,” Kanoe said. “The first thought that came to mind was, ‘what if it was my dog that needed a transfusion.’ They said Piddle was a perfect donor because he was healthy.”
The transfusion was performed and a life was saved.
“She would have died without the transfusion,” Ross said, referring to the Queensland named Nina. “She was bleeding out and we couldn’t get it stopped. Her clot time was nine minutes. She would have bled out if we hadn’t done the transfusion.”
Tiffany Gee, who has worked at the pet hospital for six years, assisted Ross with the procedure and said Nina’s lungs were filling with blood.
“She was in bad shape,” she said. “If it weren’t for Piddle the dog wouldn’t have made it through the night. Doing a transfusion is very time-consuming. We’ve done quite of few of them, but this one was really serious.”
Nina returned to her Cuyama Valley ranch home last Thursday and Piddle, of course, likewise was happy to get back home when the Bandys returned.
Ross said he’s had a number of cases where dogs ingest squirrel poison.
“They’re usually dogs who roam on ranches. Squirrel poison can be deadly for dogs too.