Berkley the former street dog found residence at Shawnee Animal Hospital and lends a paw whenever he can

By Amy Jamieson
Updated February 02, 2016 09:40 PM
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He may not have a traditional home like most dogs, but Berkley most definitely has a purpose.

The 4-year-old mastiff/yellow mouth cur mix has saved hundreds of lives as a blood donor, according to Oklahoma City’s KOCO News, who first reported the story.

Berkley, who was rescued from the streets as a puppy, found residence at the Shawnee Animal Hospital after he couldn’t find a forever home, and almost immediately he was able to lend a paw to an injured dog.

“The dog had been run over and bleeding out, and we pulled quite a bit of blood out of Berkley. He saved the dog’s life,” Mike Steward, a veterinarian at Shawnee Animal Hospital, told KOCO News.

He’s become an important staff member — a “godsend” they say — who contributes medically when he can, but no more blood than a pint a month.

“If we get an emergency during the day or after hours at 3 o’clock in the morning, Berkley is here and available to do his job. He’s a value to us,” Kim Carver, a member of the tech staff, told KOCO.com.

But, adds Carver in an email to PEOPLE, he is never overused. “We monitor his platelet and hematocrit counts due to the donations, to keep him safe and healthy,” she says. “And he is never, ever, overused. Several of us bring our personal dogs to work daily and at times they have donated in emergency situations to give Berkley a break.”

As you can imagine, the cute canine is also a great buddy to have around the hospital. When he’s not working, he is interacting with staff or playing outside in an enclosed run.

“When weather isn’t favorable for outside romps, he spends it in the inside runs and shaving bedded stalls,” Carver adds. “His nighttime kennels are always with his bed and blankets.”

The former street dog has become a very important part of the family there. “He is a very loved family member and a very valued and exceptional hero to our community,” Carver told PEOPLE. “He saved my Corgi, Ms. Flea, bright and early [Monday morning] with a transfusion. Always at the ready, always on the job.”

To keep up with Berkley’s life-saving work, visit the hospital’s Facebook page.