Free Vaccines for Rescued and Retired Horses


Horse vaccinationThe Unwanted Horse Veterinary Relief Campaign (UHVRC) this spring protected 1,600 unwanted horses against critical equine diseases. Established in December 2008, UHVRC provides qualifying equine rescue and retirement facilities with complimentary equine vaccines for horses in their care. To date, more than 4,000 horses across the United States have received vaccines through the program.

UHVRC is co-sponsored by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health. Through the program, qualifying equine-rescue and retirement facilities are provided with vaccines to protect against eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE), western equine encephalomyelitis (WEE), rabies and tetanus, as well as equine influenza and equine herpesvirus. 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.

“AAEP and Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health believe vaccines should be part of every horse’s health protocol – including those deemed unwanted,” said Dana Kirkland, Industry Education and Development Coordinator for AAEP. “The rescue and retirement facilities across America that have stepped up and provided a loving home for these unwanted horses are remarkable. We are proud to assist them in their efforts.”

Fall application deadline: Aug. 1

Another opportunity for rescue and retirement facilities to apply for the vaccine donation is just around the corner. UHVRC fall applications must be submitted by Aug. 1. All signatures, including the approving AAEP-member veterinarian, must be submitted with the application and vaccine order form. Rescues must submit a new application each year to be eligible for donated vaccines. To download an application click here.

Program outlook
AAEP and Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health hope to continue growing the program and aid more unwanted horses in the future. A portion of all Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health equine vaccine sales support UHVRC.

“Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health is committed to the health and welfare of all horses,” said Cynthia Gutierrez Mackenzie, D.V.M., Senior Equine Technical Services Veterinarian for Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health. “We are happy to lend a helping hand to horses in need and alleviate some of the financial burden equine rescue and retirement facilities face to provide for the horses in their care.”

For more information on the UHVRC and how to apply, visit


  1. It’s great that there is a place for old horses to go. However, it’s sad that there should even need to be this kind of a program. Everyone should take care of their horse for it’s entire life. I would only hope to see this organization take in horses whose owners could no longer afford or are not physically capable of taking care of them. My horse is 14 and has 7 owners, so it really makes me sad hearing about horses being passed around.


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