A black Labrador named Shadow became the 4,000th dog to lend a paw during his first visit to a clinic run by Pet Blood Bank UK.

One-year-old Shadow is owned by Luke Shipway. He registered with Pet Blood Bank UK after hearing about the charity from a friend and took Shadow to a recent session in Swindon.

Mr Shipway, 22, who is a gym manager at Calne Leisure Centre, said: “I am a blood donor myself and understand the importance of giving blood, so when I heard about Pet Blood Bank UK, I was keen for Shadow to follow suit.

“I hadn’t really considered where blood would come from if Shadow ever needed it, so it was good to know that the unit he gave could help save up to four other dogs’ lives.

“Without it someone would be without a dog. Shadow might need his blood back one day, but hopefully not.”

Since the pet blood bank launched at Crufts in 2007 it has gained popularity with dog owners who have recognised the importance of its work. Any healthy dog aged one to eight years old, who weighs more than 25kg, can give blood as long as they are not on medication, they have not travelled outside the UK and they have not received a blood transfusion in the past.

Mr Shipway said: “Shadow was fantastic during his donation. He also loved the toy he received, and promptly charged around the house as if nothing had happened.

“The whole experience was fantastic, and I would recommend anyone whose dog fits the bill to register.”

The blood bank is launching a new award scheme called the Heart of Pet Blood Bank UK Award.

The scheme will be launched in memory of Debra Sykes, the charity’s first member of staff, who lost her fight against cancer last year.

To register your dog with Pet Blood Bank UK call 01509 232222 or visit www.petbloodbankuk.org