LEXINGTON, Ky. — In the 10th year of partnership between the American Association of Equine Practitioners and Merck Animal Health, the Unwanted Horse Veterinary Relief Campaign (UHVRC) provided 3,500 doses of vaccines. The donated vaccines are to protect horses from eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), western equine encephalitis (WEE), equine rhinopneumonitis (EHV-1 and EHV-4), tetanus, West Nile Virus and rabies. Since its inception, the UHVRC has delivered more than 28,000 doses of core vaccines to protect horses in need.

Day’s End Farm Horse Rescue, which rehabilitates and re-homes horses seized from animal protection authorities in Maryland and surrounding states, is among 226 nonprofit equine rescue and retirement facilities to receive free vaccines in 2018 through the UHVRC.

“Veterinary expenses as well as medications, de-worming and vaccinations are our largest annual expenses in our equine programs,” said DeEtte Hillman, equine programs director for Day’s End Farm Horse Rescue in Woodbine, Md. “Receiving UHVRC vaccinations is a huge help to our horses and helps relieve the financial burden that comes with maintaining a healthy equine program.”

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“The UHVRC would not be possible without the tireless commitment of the AAEP and its member veterinarians,” said Ron McDaniel, Merck Animal Health director of equine sales and program co-founder. “This program epitomizes so much of what we believe in as an organization and equine team, which boils down to doing the best we can every day to protect the health and wellbeing of the horse.”

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, 2019. To learn more about the program or download the application, visit www.uhvrc.org.

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