Press release: Petco Love
National nonprofit organizations Petco Love and BISSELL Pet Foundation are giving pets their best shot for a healthy life by offering free pet vaccines during a month-long national initiative. As spring rings in puppy and kitten season, the potential exposure to contagious and deadly viruses increases. These deadly diseases — parvovirus, distemper and panleukopenia — are preventable. Declaring March as “National Pet Vaccination Month” encourages pet parents to ensure pets are up to date on vaccinations by visiting their veterinarian or a local community clinic.
The Give Pets Their Best Shot initiative makes these crucial 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. Petco Love urges interested pet parents to visit freepetvaccines.org this March to find the nearest clinic at one of more than 300 participating organizations.
“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. “By providing free vaccines to those in need, we can help these pets live a healthy life. Through this national effort and our other Petco Love Care initiatives, we continue our 22-year history of strategic investments and innovation to end unnecessary pet euthanasia.”
Diana, a senior who resides in the Southwood Habitat for Humanity community of Charlottesville, Virginia, lacks transportation and relies on public assistance. For her, the opportunity to vaccinate her beloved dogs for free through Petco Love’s initiative was a gift. “They took the dogs right in and give them their shots and it was a really fast process. That means a lot to me because my two dogs are a whole lot of comfort to me. There are people who don’t realize that your animals are like children to you.” Diana’s two dogs are now protected against highly contagious distemper and parvovirus, which can be deadly.
“BISSELL Pet Foundation has a longstanding commitment to animals and the shelter teams who care for them. We joined this critical effort to not only keep pets safe, but to provide much needed relief for shelter staff,” said Cathy Bissell, founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “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.”
The March initiative is an extension of Petco Love’s one million free pet vaccine campaign, which to date has distributed 500,000 vaccines. 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. And with Bissell Pet Foundation as a partner, the goal is to increase awareness and accelerate distribution of vaccines through community-based clinics targeting pets most at need. Additionally, a collaboration with 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.
Visit PetcoLove.org to learn more about the organization’s lifesaving impact. Pet parents seeking a free vaccination for their pets or to contribute to this effort should visit the Free Pet Vaccines website. Some clinics may permit advance registration and provide additional offerings such as discounted microchips and rabies vaccines, although quantities may be limited. Vaccines distributed under this initiative are DAPPv Canine and HCP Feline vaccines in partnership with Merck Animal Health.