Petco Love and Bissell Pet Foundation aim to increase vaccine awareness and immunization service during National Pet Vaccination Month
National nonprofit organizations Petco Love and Bissell Pet Foundation are working to give pets their best shot for a healthy life by offering free vaccines during a month-long national initiative. Declaring March “National Pet Vaccination Month”, these organizations are encouraging pet parents to ensure their animals are up to date on vaccinations by visiting their veterinarian or a local community clinic.
As spring rings in puppy and kitten season, the potential exposure to contagious and deadly viruses such as parvovirus, distemper, and panleukopenia increases, according to a joint organizational press release. The Give Pets Their Best Shot initiative makes these vaccines available to pet parents who are experiencing financial challenges and assures that cost is not a barrier to protecting their pet from preventable diseases.
Vaccines distributed under this initiative are DAPPv vaccines for canines and HCP vaccines for feline, in partnership with Merck Animal Health.
The Give Pets Their Best Shot initiative is an extension of Petco Love’s 1 million free pet vaccine campaign, which has distributed 500,000 vaccines, to date. Fifty percent of participating pet parents surveyed in the free vaccine initiative, so far, reported their pet had not previously been vaccinated against these diseases.
“Treatment for these deadly diseases can be prohibitively expensive for many pet parents resulting in unnecessary euthanasia, and even with treatment, some can be fatal, especially for vulnerable populations like puppies and kittens,” said Susanne Kogut, Petco Love President, in the organizational release. “By providing free vaccines to those in need, we can help these pets live a healthy life.”
According to Cathy Bissell, Founder of Bissell Pet Foundation, the no-cost vaccines extend to animals living in shelters. “If unvaccinated pets enter shelters, things can be further exacerbated as these diseases can spread quickly, resulting in multiple deaths, skyrocketing expenses, disrupting lifesaving operations and increasing compassion fatigue among staff. There is no reason for a pet to suffer or die from a disease that can be prevented,” said Bissell, in the organizational release.
Partnering with Bissell Pet Foundation has allowed the Petco Love campaign to increase awareness and accelerate distribution of vaccines through community-based clinics targeting pets most at need. Additionally, a collaboration with the nonprofit organization Partnership with Native Americans will help distribute an initial 10,000 vaccines and 10,000 pounds of pet food to remote reservations with plans to expand this effort over the coming months, according to the joint release.
Interested pet parents and shelter teams are encouraged to visit freepetvaccines.org to find the nearest clinic through more than 300 participating organizations. Some clinics may permit advance registration and provide additional services such as discounted microchips and rabies vaccines, although quantities may be limited.
Petco Love gives pets their best shot during National Pet Vaccination Month. News release. Petco Love and Bissell Pet Foundation. March 2, 2022. Accessed March 2, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/petco-love-gives-pets-their-best-shot-during-march-national-pet-vaccination-month-301493731.html#:~:text=These%20deadly%20diseases%20%2D%2D%20parvovirus,or%20a%20local%20community%20clinic.