Petco Love Will Provide 1 Million Vaccines To Animal Welfare Partners For Distribution To Pets In Need
SAN ANTONIO, Aug. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Petco Love is taking action to help end life-threatening diseases, preventable by vaccines, in our beloved pets. Petco Love will allocate 1 million free pet vaccines to its existing community-based animal welfare partners to distribute to family pets in need. With August as National Immunization Awareness Month, a campaign to highlight the importance of vaccinations for people, it also serves as a reminder of the critical importance of vaccinating our pets.
According to experts, rabies, parvovirus, and distemper in dogs and panleukopenia in cats are the top diseases preventable by vaccines impacting our pets nationally, and estimates are that nearly 30% of pet owners don’t regularly bring their companions to see a veterinarian at least once a year.
“Although many pet parents already vaccinate their pets with these core canine and feline vaccines, many cannot afford or are unaware just how important this standard preventative care is to ensure the health and longevity of our beloved pets,” explained Dr. Whitney Miller, Petco’s Chief Veterinarian. “While vaccines have been available for decades and are highly effective in preventing deadly diseases, the best way to ensure overall pet health and wellness is to make them readily available for all.”
“It is heartbreaking when any pet suffers or dies from a disease that could have been prevented. It is further exacerbated when unvaccinated pets come into busy shelter kennels, where these deadly diseases can spread quickly, resulting in multiple deaths, skyrocketing expenses, and hindering saving pet lives,” said Susanne Kogut, Petco Love President. “By creating greater awareness and making this crucial preventative care more accessible to those not currently receiving these lifesaving vaccines, we can prevent the dangerous spread of disease.”
A 2010 University of Florida study tested dogs and cats upon intake into one Florida shelter and found that 65% of dogs, and almost all cats, had insufficient levels of protection for canine parvovirus and distemper and feline panleukopenia, suggesting they had not received proper vaccinations. According to Julie Levy, the Fran Marino Professor of Shelter Medicine Education at the University of Florida, “This study clearly revealed that a significant population of the community’s most vulnerable pets, those more likely to find themselves at an animal shelter, are not receiving needed preventative vaccines, which makes them susceptible to these deadly diseases. We believe making pet vaccines and vaccination clinics more accessible, affordable and convenient is essential to ensuring more pets are vaccinated, which will absolutely save pet lives.”
Initial distribution of vaccines will begin immediately to existing Petco Love animal welfare partners with additional grant incentives available to offset the costs to organizations administering the vaccines.
“Increasing vaccine clinics in many areas of the country like Texas, where it seems communities are disproportionately impacted by these deadly pet viruses, is vital,” said Aaron Johnson, Director of Montgomery County Animal Services, a Petco Love partner organization that held a clinic late July that vaccinated 700 pets in one day. “While it was a long day for staff and volunteers, the demand for free and low-cost vaccines and preventative care is great.”
On June 27, Petco Love partner El Paso Animal Services, and the City of El Paso, hosted a unique community clinic that served close to 700 pets and offered both pet vaccines and COVID vaccines for people.
With this effort, Petco Love aims to encourage more clinics in high-impact areas and identify other distribution channels to assist family pets in their time of need. Petco Love’s commitment to providing free pet vaccines via local animal welfare partners, in addition to regular Vetco vaccination services offered at Petco Pet Care Centers nationwide, and programs like Petco’s Vital Care membership, which includes unlimited routine vet exams, is intended to reach widespread vaccination levels, and help eliminate the spread of deadly viruses in pets.
Visit PetcoLove.org to learn more about the organization’s lifesaving impact. Pet parents seeking to receive a free vaccination for their pets should check with their local animal welfare organization to see whether they are participating in this program. Vaccines distributed under this initiative will be the DAPPv Canine and HCP Feline vaccines in partnership with Merck Animal Health.
About Petco Love (Formerly Petco Foundation)
Petco Love is a nonprofit changing lives by making communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since our founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, we’ve empowered animal welfare organizations by investing $300 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. We’ve helped find loving homes for more than 6.5 million pets in partnership with Petco and organizations nationwide. Today, our love for pets drives us to lead with innovation, creating tools animal lovers need to reunite lost pets, and lead with passion, inspiring and mobilizing communities and our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners to drive lifesaving change alongside us. Is love calling you? Join us. Visit petcolove.org or follow at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to be part of the lifesaving work we’re leading every day.
About Merck Animal Health
For 130 years, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.merck-animal-health.com and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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SOURCE Petco Love