We Interview Dr. Jean Dodds, Founder of Hemopet


This interview is a simple couple of questions for the Dr. Jean dodds who in 1964 received the D.V.M degree (with hons) from the Ontario Veterinary College, Toronto University.

A year later she started a position as a Research Scientist with the New York State Health department.

She started to compare studies of animals that had bleeding diseases. By 1980 she had become Executive Director of the NY State Council on Human Blood and transfusion services which she continued until 1986.

This is when she established Hemopet after a move to South Carolina. Hemopet is the first national blood bank program for animals, it is also a non profit.


1) What was your inspiration to choose the veterinary field?

Interestingly, my late Father was a public health physician and most of his close relatives were either doctors or nurses. 

When I was young, me and my parents arrived in the United States by boat and a train journey took us to Montreal and finally to Ottawa where my father became the Director of Indian and Eskimo Affairs for Canada.

My father, Dr. John Stanley Willis, was a respected public health doctor who himself, came from a family of doctors and nurses.

I was partly influenced by my Great Aunt Dorothy and Great Uncle Harold who lived in the Orient, kept pet monkeys, and painted watercolors.

The exposure to exotic animals from a young age might have given me the initial thirst to work with them later in life.

I worked on a farm in Quebec for two summers driving tractors, milking cows by hand, and threshing wheat. At that time, I just thought animals were more interesting than people. Instead of dissuading me, it persuaded me.

2) Why did you establish Hemopet, the first nonprofit national blood bank program for animals?

Being in charge of the human blood bank regulatory process for the state of NY during the AIDS transfusion crisis in the late 1970s-early 1980s, taught me that we needed a parallel Red Cross -like program for pets, starting with dogs – because we already had such a program in Albany , NY to keep our donated dogs with bleeding diseases like hemophilia and von Willebrand disease alive; Pet life-Line [our rescue/adoption program for greyhounds] and Hemopet [our non-profit blood bank] were developed from there.

3) You released NutriScan in 2011, what is NutriScan and what is your purpose when running this project?

Nutriscan is the only clinically predictable diagnostic test for dogs, cats and horses to identify the commonly seen food intolerances and sensitivities in saliva.

Clearly, its purpose is to find food intolerances and potential discomforts before they arise, and also to discover what might be causing an animal discomfort.

This test measures both IgA (secretory immunity) and IgM (primary immune response) antibodies to 24 selected foods in the saliva of dogs and cats, and 22 selected foods in the saliva of horses. High antibody levels indicate that the animal has a food sensitivity and intolerance to that food or foods. It is not a DNA test or a cheek/gum swab test.

For accurate testing with Nutriscan, the animal should not have eaten anything overnight before the saliva is collected. About 2 ml of saliva is required for the best results.

We have tested more than 17,000 canine samples with Nutriscan by the spring of 2017, and since starting cats at the end of September 2013, we have tested over 750.

Many clients have reported amazing success using Nutriscan to identify food intolerance in their pets; these stories appear on Hemopet’s social media pages.

4) Can you suggest some good dog books which are useful for taking care of dogs?

Pet food Industry
Not Fit for a Dog!: The Truth About Manufactured Dog and Cat Food, Michael W. Fox, Elizabeth Hodgkins and Marion E. Smart
And The Truth About Pet Foods, R L Wysong.

The Loved Dog: The Playful, Non-Aggressive Way to Teach Your Dog Good Behavior, Tamar Geller.
And 30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog: The Loved Dog Method, Tamar Geller.

Healthcare Books
Applied Veterinary Clinical Nutrition, Andrea J. Fascetti, Sean J. Delaney, Wiley
Earl Mindell’s Nutrition & Health for Dogs, Earl Mindell & Elizabeth Renaghan.
And Emerging Therapies: Using Herbs and Nutraceutical Supplements for Small Animals, Susan G. Wynn.

Dr. Dodds and Diana R. Laverdue also wrote a book published by Dogwise: Canine Nutrigenomics: The New Science of Feeding Your Dog for Optimum Health.

5) What are your next plans in the next 6 months? 

We are actively working with Dr. Denis Callewaert of Oxford Biomedical Sciences to produce an unique veterinary diagnostic kit for cellular oxidative stress and cancer detection.

Chronic cellular inflammation from the increased free radical formation of oxidative stress leads to a wide variety of diseases.

Chronic inflammation occurs when the tissues or organs receive inflammatory “mediator” messages that cause them to react as though the “trigger” or pathogen was still present.

Rather than repairing themselves, these cells remain in an ongoing state of inflammation that can wax and wane for an entire lifetime.​

As a result, tissues become deficient in antioxidant mediators, such as malonedialdehyde, glutathione, cysteine, ascorbic acid and other antioxidant vitamins, which is associated with poor clinical outcome.

These effects also pertain to the lipid oxidation and risk of rancidity in pet foods with their higher fat and oil content.


Such a test could save a lot of pets unnecessary anguish and could be ideal for any pet owner who is finding it increasingly difficult to diagnose whatever it is that is wrong with their pets diet. 

It is clear through Dr. Jean Dodds passion for animals and their welfare has developed from a young age. This spirit for helping those that cannot help themselves as well as her charitable side shines through in the Nutriscan diagnostic test.

About the Author Cindy Grant

A pet lover from Boston, USA who is extremely passionate about all cute little pets, especially puppies, kittens and birds. I created NolongerWild as a community where all pet lovers around the world can meet and share their passion with each other.

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