Petco Love's National Pet Vaccination Month in March Urges Pet Vaccinations to Save Pet Lives
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National Nonprofit Distributes Free Pet Vaccines to Partner Animal Shelters and Rescues During the Month

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- During March's National Pet Vaccination Month, Petco Love, a national nonprofit organization, reminds pet parents of the importance of vaccinating their pets against deadly, yet preventable diseases in dogs and cats, at their veterinarian or local vaccine clinic. As part of its Vaccinated and Loved campaign and to support access to care for pets across the country, Petco Love is distributing pet vaccines to partner animal welfare organizations to hold free pet vaccine clinics in their communities.

The threat of potential exposure for pets to deadly diseases and viruses, like parvovirus and distemper in dogs, and panleukopenia in cats, is even higher in Spring and Summer months. "The best way for pet parents to keep their pets healthy and safe from diseases is making sure they are up to date on recommended vaccines," said Dr. Whitney Miller, DVM, MBA, DACVPM, Petco's Chief Veterinarian and Petco Love Board Member. "No pet parent wants to see their pets suffer, especially from a disease that could have been prevented, and we know vaccines save pets lives."

Petco Love's Vaccinated and Loved campaign launched in 2021 to encourage Petco Love animal welfare partners to host free vaccine clinics. Since that time, Petco Love distributed over 2.2M vaccines to date and surveyed pet parents1 attending these free clinics to assess their impact. Only 34% of respondents reported that their pet had ever received a similar vaccine and of these, 41% indicated that they relied on vaccine clinics for this essential service. In fact, 40% of respondents at these free vaccine clinics indicated that their pet had never seen a private veterinarian and only 27% take their pet to a veterinarian for an annual check-up.

"These survey results demonstrate that our Vaccinated and Loved pet vaccine clinics are crucial to protect these pets most in need. It is imperative that we take action to assure access to care for all pets, so no pet is unprotected from preventable, deadly diseases especially in areas where these diseases are more prevalent," said Susanne Kogut, Petco Love President. "Vaccinating these pets potentially saves more than $150 million in veterinary treatment costs, and more importantly reduces unnecessary suffering and saves lives. Helping pets, helps people, furthering our mission of making pet families closer, stronger, and healthier."

Petco Love's Vaccinated and Loved initiative is a nationwide campaign. Petco Love partner, Spay Neuter Network in San Antonio, Texas, hosts free pet vaccine clinics in an area of the country where deadly diseases are even more widespread. "We meet so many caring pet parents who are unable to pay for preventative vaccinations as they choose between preventative care and providing food for themselves and their family," said Jordan Craig, Executive Director of Spay Neuter Network. "Thankfully, Petco Love is making sure that crucial preventative care is available for everyone. With their help, we can make sure everyone has access to the care their pet needs." The organization's next free vaccine clinic is being held on March 2nd.

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Another Petco Love partner and animal shelter in Texas is preparing for its free vaccine event at Arcadia Park in Dallas on March 9th. "Vaccinations play such an important role in keeping pets within our communities happy, healthy, and in their homes," said Meredith Jones with Operation Kindness. "We look forward to continuing to partner with Petco Love and communities like southern Dallas because together, we can improve the quality of life for pets and the people who love them."

The Vaccinated and Loved campaign marked a milestone in November 2023, reaching Petco Love's goal of distributing 2 million free pet vaccines for family pets. Now, Petco Love aims to distribute an additional one million vaccines to partner shelters and rescues, including Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento, California. "The Petco Love Vaccinated and Loved campaign allowed us to provide over 5,000 vaccines to pets of more than 2,200 families in 2023. We are hoping to serve even more pets and their families this year," said Phillip Zimmerman, Manager of Front Street Animal Shelter. The organization has a free vaccine clinic planned for March 10th at Pannell Community Center.

For pet parents in upstate New York, Petco Love partner Rochester Animal Services is hosting free pet vaccine clinics for dogs on March 1st and 15th, and for cats on March 28th at the Rochester Community Sports Center.

Pet parents can stay up to date on all recommended vaccines for dogs and cats at more than 200 Vetco Total Care full-service hospitals conveniently located inside Petco pet care centers, or at Vetco Vaccination Clinics regularly held at more than 1,200 Petco pet care centers and select Lowe's locations.

Pet parents in need of free pet vaccinations can visit care.petcolove.org to find a participating clinic. Vaccines distributed under this initiative are DAPPv Canine and HCP Feline vaccines in partnership with Merck Animal Health. To learn more about Petco Love, visit petcolove.org.

Media Contact: Crystal Bugary, Petco Love, [email protected]

About Petco Love
Petco Love is a life-changing nonprofit organization that makes 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 $375 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. We've helped find loving homes for more than 6.75 million pets in partnership with Petco and organizations nationwide. 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 us on Facebook, Instagram, X, Threads, and LinkedIn to be part of the lifesaving work we lead every day.

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About Merck Animal Health
At Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than a century, we've been at the forefront of research, bringing forward medicines, vaccines and innovative health solutions for the world's most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business of Merck. Through its commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, producers, 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 connected technology that includes 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.

1Petco Love distributes vaccines for free clinics across 44 states, and surveyed pet parents attending some of these clinics. The respondents answered three primary questions: whether (including the reasons for) their pet had visited a private vet office; whether they had previously received the offered vaccines, and whether a pet in their household had ever been diagnosed with these diseases. Regions were determined in accordance with U.S. census designations.

SOURCE Petco Love
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