NEW YORK--The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that it has pledged $100,000 to local animal shelters, private veterinarians and animal welfare organizations across the country to help fund affordable vaccination clinics, providing much needed relief to pet owners who cannot afford routine vaccinations for their animals.
Vaccinations are important not only for owned animals; they also can be crucial in preventing the spread of disease within animal shelters. When unvaccinated pets are relinquished to shelters, they are susceptible to a number of diseases, such as canine parvovirus and panleukopenia (feline distemper). Living in close quarters can cause these diseases to spread quickly and easily to other previously healthy--but unvaccinated--animals.
"The ASPCA is aware that communities across the country are in urgent need of financial assistance to help pet owners afford the most basic form of care for their animals," said Michael Barrett, vice president of grants management for the ASPCA. "We hope that this grant will offer an alternative to expensive and unattainable preventative medicine to those who need it most."
"It has always been a primary goal of the ASPCA to keep pets in their homes and out of shelters," added Julie Morris, senior vice president of community outreach for the ASPCA. "Pet owners are struggling and will oftentimes forgo yearly vaccinations. Unfortunately, this can leave a pet susceptible to serious diseases, and when that animal gets sick, the pet owner feels he or she has no choice but to relinquish it to a shelter because they can't afford treatment. On the other hand, if pet owners have access to affordable vaccines, they can keep their pets healthy and out of the shelter system."
Vaccines are extremely important in managing the health of cats and dogs, and the ASPCA encourages all pet owners to discuss with their veterinarian a vaccination protocol that is right for their pet. Factors that should be taken into account include age, medical history, environment and lifestyle. More information on vaccinations can be found in the Pet Care section on the ASPCA website: www.aspca.org/pet-care.
Organizations that wish to apply for a grant should visit the ASPCA's grant request site. Grant allocations range from $5,000 to $10,000, and organizations should be familiar with the ASPCA's grant guidelines before applying. The deadline for submissions is November 10, 2011.