Vaccinated & Loved Initiative Saves Vulnerable Pet Lives | Petco Love
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Vaccinated & Loved Initiative Saves Vulnerable Pet Lives

San Antonio, Tex. — Petco Love, a national nonprofit spearheading positive change for pets, celebrates reaching its one-millionth free pet vaccine distribution for family pets. Today, due to the overwhelming need, Petco Love re-commits another million free vaccines through its Vaccinated and Loved↗ initiative to help end life-threatening pet diseases.

Petco Love is on a mission to protect pets from deadly diseases. The Vaccinated and Loved campaign, launched in August 2021, encourages Petco Love animal welfare partners to host free vaccine clinics, particularly targeting high-impact areas where fatal pet diseases (parvovirus and distemper in dogs, and panleukopenia in cats) are prevalent. Petco Love surveyed pet parents[1] attending the free clinics to assess whether the initiative met its goal to reach pets most in need. Despite veterinarian recommendations requiring periodic vaccinations for these diseases, surveyed pet parents indicated only 37% of pets were previously vaccinated, and 42% had never seen a private vet.

“Clearly this free vaccine initiative is making a difference for many pet parents and their pets. These vaccines prevent diseases that are not only extremely costly to treat but result in pets needlessly suffering and often dying. Proactively vaccinating vulnerable pets saves lives,” said Susanne Kogut, Petco Love president. “Based on our survey results, we estimate this initiative reduced veterinary treatment costs by potentially $100 million, at a time when there is a veterinary shortage, and when treatment for pets is prohibitively expensive for some.”

“My pets are vaccinated and loved. Thank you, Petco Love!” said Debra Simms whose dog, Bella, received the millionth vaccination at a vaccine clinic held September 25 in partnership with El Paso Animal Services. Simms also vaccinated three other pets and expressed gratitude for the access to care. “It’s an honor [to be the millionth recipient]. Everybody needs to get their animals vaccinated.”

Petco Love cautions pet parents that pets in certain states might be more at risk. Survey results showed that despite slightly higher average vaccination rates in the south (42%), parvovirus and distemper were still reported highest in this region, with Texas disproportionately holding the most count of both diseases. Panleukopenia was most reported in the West, with California accounting for the highest diagnosis.

“This year, we provided over 7,000 vaccines to our community pets,” said Terry Kebschull, Director of Petco Love partner, El Paso Animal Services. “Our partnership with Petco Love to provide those vaccines is very important. These diseases are prevalent here in the community and if a pet encounters another pet that has those diseases, it protects them. Healthy pets make healthy and happy families, so it’s vital for our community and communities across the nation.”

Free vaccine clinics constitute one part of Petco Love’s broader initiative to make access to veterinary care available to pet households where cost remains a barrier to care. Petco Love also announced more than $1.6 million in Access to Care investment grants to nearly 170 partners across the U.S. These investments support vulnerable families and their pets by funding animal welfare organizations that provide vital community services. Services consist of veterinary care including preventatives and wellness, treatment for illness and injury, and spay/neuter services.

“We are proud to partner with Petco Love to increase access to care and important vaccines for pets, and we congratulate them on this important milestone,” said Dr. Joseph Hahn, Executive Director of U.S. Companion Animal and Equine Professional Services at Merck Animal Health. “Together we are bringing unconditional care to animals who could otherwise be at risk.”

Pet parents in need of free pet vaccinations can visit↗ to find a participating clinic. 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. To learn more about Petco Love, visit


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 $330 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. 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 or follow us on Facebook↗Instagram↗Twitter↗, and LinkedIn↗ to be part of the lifesaving work we lead every day. 

About Merck 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, 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↗ and connect with us on LinkedIn↗Facebook↗Twitter↗ and Instagram↗.

[1] Petco Love surveyed pet parents attending these free clinics across 38 states. 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. Petco Love plans to continue these surveys with the intention of publishing a white paper with detailed survey results.


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