DOGS are known for the bravery and loyalty, and one remarkable greyhound is also a lifesaver multiple times over – including saving the life of a cat.

Ringo, a retired racing greyhound, is a blood donor dog for the Royal Veterinary College and regularly gives samples to vets for procedures and research.

According to owner Sarah Candy, Ringo’s blood has successfully saved the lives of nearly 30 dogs and, due to a remarkable veterinary technique – one cat.

Ringo and Sarah are finalists in The Kennel Club’s Friends for Life competition after being selected as the outstanding candidate of the Breed Rescue Dog of the Year category.

“I first got Ringo nearly four years ago,” revealed Luton’s Sarah, a swimming pool duty manager. “His picture was on a Facebook page for the Royal Veterinary College. They wanted to find a new home for him – at that point he was still within a racing yard. I just fell in love with him.

“The original post said where he’d done a blood donation, so he was already on their programme and I had another greyhound on their donation programme, so we kept that going.

“He’s done 17 donations and saved the life of about 25-30 dogs and one cat. They can mix dog and cat blood together to save the life of a cat while they are searching for the right blood group for that cat.

“The Royal Veterinary College showed a presentation to us about the two animals who had contributed, and it was Ringo and one of my cats, called Fidget, who saved this cat’s life.”

As well as helping many of his own kind, Sarah revealed the impact Ringo had her and her family after a difficult few months following the death of a close family member.

“He’s been an absolute god send to the whole family. Dogs can sense when people are upset and he’s been absolutely superb with my children,” added Sarah, who lives with husband Jon and teenage daughters Lucy and Jemma.

“He knows when they need a cuddle, and he will jump up onto the settee and cuddle them, although he’s rather large!

“Cuddling a greyhound is quite an experience, but he really is the most loving and caring dog, and very docile! He spends most of his time asleep on the settee with his paws in the air. He’s just lovely.”

The Kennel Club wants to celebrate and share the amazing stories of how dogs give back to us every day of our lives. The overall winner will be announced in the NEC arena at Crufts 2019. 
The winner will also be awarded £5,000 and the runners up will each receive – for their nominated canine charity – £1,000 from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust – helping to make a difference for dogs. 

After hearing about Friends for Life competition on social media, Sarah is bowled over by just how far the pair have come.

And the chance to appear at Crufts as a finalist and show Ringo off in all his glory is something which greatly excites Sarah – as does the prospect of winning the entire competition.

“I felt it appropriate to nominate him because of the work that he does saving the lives of the other dogs,” said Sarah.

“I never for one minute believed that he would get this far but it means the absolute world to me because it shows what a fantastic dog he is. To win it would be absolutely amazing.

“To be on the television at Crufts would be incredible. Greyhounds are not recognised as rescue dog in the same way that any other breed. They’re very much their own breed, but to see him at Crufts would be amazing.”