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Grant Program Convinces Shelters to Vaccinate for Dog Flu

Posted: Dec. 5, 2011, 6:30 p.m. EST

Vaccine
Nearly 1,400 animal shelters have received doses of Merck Animal Health’s Nobivac Canine Flu H3N8 vaccine through the “Building Community Immunity” program.
More than half of the nearly 1,400 animal shelters and rescue groups that received doses of Merck Animal Health’s Nobivac Canine Flu H3N8 vaccine plan to add canine influenza vaccination to standard protocol.

Animal shelters and rescue groups across 49 states have received nearly one million doses of the vaccine through the “Building Community Immunity” program – a joint effort between Petfinder.com and Boxmeer, The Netherlands-based Merck Animal Health. The program aims to build community immunity against the canine influenza virus, also known as dog flu, by encouraging vaccination of all adopted dogs.

Each grant recipient received up to a four-month, two-dose per dog supply of the vaccine. In a survey completed by recipients, 45 percent of respondents cited a decrease in canine coughing and 54 percent of establishments saw an improvement in the overall health of the dogs as a result of the addition of the vaccine.

“Vaccinating dogs in shelters and rescues is an important step to help build community immunity against canine influenza because they are adopted out into various locations and move from state to state,” said Liz Neuschartz, executive director of the Petfinder.com Foundation.

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