Pet owners often wish for the health and safety of not just their own pets but all dogs. However, many are unaware that over 90% of blood used for transfusions in pet dogs in Korea comes from the dogs in poor conditions, raised for blood banks. This is why Hyundai Motor is committed to the 'I'M DOgNOR' campaign.
I’M DOgNOR, initiated by Hyundai in 2019, is a social contribution campaign aimed at improving the blood donation system for pets. The term 'DOgNOR' combines 'Donor' and 'Dog,' meaning blood donor dogs. Establishing a culture of pet blood donation could change the system reliant on blood donation dogs.
Hyundai Motor is serious about the I’M DOgNOR campaign. In 2020, Hyundai launched a 'Blood Donation Car' that toured the country to facilitate pet blood donations. In 2022, in collaboration with Konkuk University, Hyundai supported the establishment and operation of Asia’s first pet blood donation center, 'KU I'M DOgNOR,' and also developed the first pet ambulance in Korea.
Thanks to Hyundai's efforts to establish pet blood donation and emergency facilities, pet blood donations through I’M DOgNOR have significantly increased. While a total of 64 dogs participated from 2019 to 2021, the number surged to over 200 after the establishment of the pet blood donation center in 2022.
This year, Hyundai expanded the pet blood donation network nationwide, including partnerships with ‘Big Heart Animal Medical Center’ in Busan and ‘Time Animal Medical Center’ in Daejeon, South Korea. The campaign also hosts various events like health check-ups for pets and their owners.
'The Proud Picnic,' held in Busan and Daejeon in October and November, was an enjoyable event where large breed dogs and their owners participated in various activities like walks and agility games. Owners enjoyed chicken while pets had meals from ‘Harim Pet Food,’ a collaborator of the I’M DOgNOR campaign.
The event name 'the Proud Picnic' has a reason – only large breed dogs can donate blood. Eligible dogs must be 2-8 years old, weigh over 25kg, be on monthly heartworm and deworming treatments, have no history of infectious diseases, and pass a health check. A donation involves giving 300-400ml of blood once a year, potentially saving 3-4 small dogs. In short, it's a noble act by large breed dogs.
At the Daejeon 'the Proud Picnic,' a photo wall and photography service were available, along with Hyundai Ioniq 5's V2L (Vehicle to Load) feature for a coffee machine, proving electric cars are ideal for pet-friendly picnics without exhaust emissions.
Participants enjoyed walks, obstacle courses, and consultations with trainers. The importance and need for pet blood donation were shared with all attendees. Photos of 'blood donation heroes' retiring at 8 years old with medals were displayed, showing appreciation for their contributions.
I’M DOgNOR aims to establish a culture of pet blood donation, creating a greater resonance with the public. Hyundai recently released three animations featuring the campaign mascot, 'Dokgu,' inspired by the blood donor dog 'Seorak,' rescued from a slaughterhouse.
The animations depict Dokgu's journey from needing blood transfusions and treatment to becoming a healthy dog that shares blood with other pets in need, reflecting the core values of the I’M DOgNOR campaign. This mirrors how a dog in need today can become a donor in the future, fostering a cycle of help within the pet ecosystem.
Moreover, Hyundai has pledged to donate 10 won for each view of the animation to the pre-health check expenses for potential blood donor dogs. This campaign, where viewing equals donation, has garnered attention in various industries, including coverage by pet influencers like veterinarian Seol Chae-hyun and on the *WLDO channel.
The spread of 'good influence' on social media, particularly through Instagram’s I’M DOgNOR page, is also noteworthy. The story of 'Bunny,' who suffered from coagulation disorders and used up all the blood in the hospital during treatment, highlights the importance of pet blood donation. Bunny, now healthy thanks to many people and blood donor dogs, exemplifies the campaign's impact.
Hyundai Motor plans to continue the I’M DOgNOR campaign, enhancing the pet blood donation culture. The company will operate 'Mobile Pet Blood Donation Cars' and keep collaborating with regional large animal hospitals, enabling more pets like Bunny to get help.
On the way back from the Proud Picnic, I found new respect for large breed dogs, often perceived as intimidating, for their noble role in helping all pet dogs. The willingness of the owners and pets to donate blood was admirable. Here's hoping the I’M DOgNOR campaign saves more lives in the future.
Photography by Hyuk-soo Jo
HMG Journal Operation Teamgroup@hyundai.com
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