7,000 Second-Chance Horses Receive Complimentary Core Vaccines Through the UHVRC

A total of 287 nonprofit rescue and retirement facilities across the United States recently received 7,000 complimentary doses of core vaccines through the Unwanted Horse Veterinary Relief Campaign (UHVRC).

Supported in partnership by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and Merck Animal Health, the UHVRC provides qualifying equine facilities with Prestige® vaccines to protect horses against Eastern and Western equine encephalomyelitis, equine rhinopneumonitis (EHV-1 and EHV-4), West Nile virus, equine influenza, tetanus and rabies. Since its inception in 2008, the UHVRC has provided more than 60,000 doses of core vaccines for horses in need.

Among the facilities to receive vaccines this year is Paso Robles, Calif.-based Redwings Horse Sanctuary, which provides permanent sanctuary or selected adoptive homes for equines rescued from abuse, abandonment and neglect. Sara Ruggerone, Redwings’ equine care manager, said the vaccines provide the dual benefit of protecting the health of its herd and creating budgetary efficiencies.

“Vaccination programs are a big budget item for large sanctuaries like Redwings that house 80-plus horses at any given time,” said Ruggerone. “We are sincerely grateful for the vaccine support of the UHVRC, Merck Animal Health and the AAEP, which will cover over 70% of our herd and have a huge impact on our organization. This enables us to have more money in our budget for bringing in new rescues that are in desperate need so we can continue to fulfill our mission.”

To qualify for donated vaccines, facilities must have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, follow the AAEP Care Guidelines for Equine Rescue and Retirement Facilities, and work with an AAEP-member veterinarian to submit an application. The program distributes vaccines once per year; the next application deadline is Feb. 1, 2025. To learn more about the program or download the application, visit aaep.org and enter “UHVRC” in the search bar.

About AAEP
The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.

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, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.

Contact: Giulia Garcia
Communications Coordinator
Ggarcia@aaep.org or (859) 705-0362

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