Can Pets Be Organ Donors?


We humans know all about donating organs, but what about pet organ donation? Cat and dogs becoming organ donors is becoming more and more popular. While it might be hard for you, your pet could save another pet’s life. Here’s some information on this emerging science that could save another pet’s life.

pet organ donation

Pet Organ Donation:

For quite some time, it’s been pretty standard that kidney transplants can occur for cats and dogs. As of right now, Dr. Lillian Aronson, associate professor of small animal surgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine said it’s the only type of transplant that can occur with these two species.


A Change On The Way: 

A website called Cheri’s Hope in Kansas City has started the ball rolling for a nationwide pet organ donation network for research purposes. Currently, this network is available only in the Kansas City area but here’s how it works: When a beloved pet is euthanized, healthy organs can be harvested to help other pets in need. This can give a grieving pet parent a measure of comfort knowing their BFF can help someone else’s through vital research. Here, pancreases can possibly be donated.

How It Works:

Harvested organs are used in labs to do life-saving research. If you live in the Kansas City area, there are two locations where organs can be donated: State Line Animal Hospital and Wayside Waifs. This means your vet cannot harvest the organs to be donated.

Your pet will not suffer at all because euthanasia is performed prior to organ donation. So, instead of taking your dog or cat to your vet for euthanasia, you will do it at one of the two listed facilities instead so your pet can be an organ donor.

Older Pets:

If you have a senior dog or cat, either your own vet or a vet at one of the facilities will help you determine whether she’s a viable donor. The best age for donors is somewhere between youth and middle age. The ideal body weight for dogs is at least 40 pounds and at least 4 pounds for felines.

What If He Has Cancer?

A cancer diagnosis does not automatically disqualify your pet from being an organ donor. Like age, there will be a determination either by your vet or one of the facilities’ vets about whether there are some organs that can be donated to research.


The only cost to you as a pet owner is for euthanasia, not for the organ donation. You may still cremate or bury your pet following this procedure.

For more information on pet organ donation, click here.

Would you consider pet organ donation for your dog or cat?