Veterinary Relief Campaign Provides Vaccines to Unwanted Horses

Veterinarians and equine rescue and retirement facilities are teaming up to help rehabilitate, revitalize and, ultimately, find new homes for America's unwanted horses through the Unwanted Horse Veterinary Relief Campaign (UHVRC). Although the campaign was launched only four months ago, the UHVRC already has provided aid to more than 1,400 horses across the nation.

Established in December 2008 by Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), the UHVRC is committed to protecting the health of unwanted horses by donating equine vaccines to qualifying equine rescue and retirement facilities.

"The Unwanted Horse Veterinary Relief Campaign has been tremendously successful so far in accomplishing the goal of providing equine rescue and rehabilitation facilities with the resources they need to promote the health and welfare of the horses in their care," said Cynthia Gutierrez, DVM, Equine Technical Services Veterinarian for Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health. "To date, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health has donated 1,470 PreveNile West Nile virus vaccines, 1,470 Prestige V vaccines, and 1,380 EquiRab rabies vaccines through the UHVRC to equine rescue and retirement facilities across the country."

The widespread need for a program like the UHVRC is evident from the more-than-100 applications received by the program since Jan. 1, 2009, from eligible equine rescue and retirement facilities. Applications for more than 4,500 horses have been submitted by facilities in 35 states.

"It is extremely encouraging to see so many rescue and retirement facilities and veterinarians working together to apply for aid from the Unwanted Horse Veterinary Relief Campaign," said Dana Kirkland, Industry Education and Development Coordinator for the AAEP. "We are thrilled that we have been able to donate vaccines for more than 1,400 horses in need thus far; however, demand still exceeds supply. We look forward to accommodating more facilities and their horses as the program continues to grow."

Getting Involved Equine rescue and retirement facilities should work with an AAEP-member veterinarian to complete and submit an application, the facilities checklist, and the equine vaccine order form to receive complimentary Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health equine vaccines.

Three of Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health's equine vaccines are available through the UHVRC program: PreveNile West Nile virus vaccine; EquiRab rabies vaccine; and Prestige V (KY93, KY02 and NM2/93 flu strains, EHV-1, EHV-4, EEE, WEE, and tetanus).

Equine facilities that follow the AAEP Care Guidelines for Equine Rescue and Retirement Facilities and have a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status are qualified to receive support from the UHVRC. To download an application and the AAEP Care Guidelines or to learn more about the UHVRC, visit: UHVRC.org.

A portion of all Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health equine vaccine sales beginning Dec. 1, 2008, has gone to support the UHVRC. To learn more about Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health's full line of equine health products, visit Intervetusa.com.  

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