Vaccinating Dogs Helps Humans and Animals
A young boy grins with pride as he hands over his new puppy to a veterinarian from Mission Rabies. The health worker will administer the dog’s first rabies vaccination, while volunteers teach children in the village about how they can protect themselves and the animals they love from disease.
The Mission Rabies veterinarian and others around the world are going above and beyond to rid the world of rabies, a vaccine-preventable disease that kills an estimated 59,000 people each year, including many children.
To coincide with World Rabies Day, Sept. 28, we are launching For Them. For Us., an initiative in partnership with Mission Rabies and Rabies Free Africa that pays tribute to the veterinarians, dog owners, volunteers and organizations committed to protecting and saving canine and human lives.
A Hashtag of Honor
The social media campaign, #ForThemForUs, encourages individuals to post photos and videos of people doing their part to end rabies, whether it’s pictures of veterinarians surrounded by some of the dogs they care for, or a volunteer helping to vaccinate dogs in a rabies-endemic country. This is a chance to highlight the actions and unseen moments that are saving lives.
“Showcasing those efforts through #ForThemForUs moments is a fitting way to raise awareness about why vaccinating dogs and educating people about preventing rabies matters and saves lives,”– Luke Gamble, BVSc, DVM&S, FRCVS, founder, Mission Rabies.
According to the World Atlas, approximately 900 million dogs live on the planet. Some provide companionship, affection and play time for people of all ages. Others are working dogs, used for hunting or to protect livestock. Up to 85% of dogs roam free, placing them at high risk for being infected with rabies.
Although rabies has been eliminated in some countries, it continues to be a threat in more than 150 countries and territories. Communities with limited access to health and veterinary care are most affected.
To keep pets and families safe, pet owners should have their dogs vaccinated against rabies, no matter where they live.
Preventing the Spread for 20+ Years
Through the Afya Program, our company has been dedicated to rabies prevention for over 20 years. We have donated more than 3 million doses of rabies vaccine to help meet the World Health Organization “Zero by 2030” goal.
“We see veterinarians, volunteers and others carrying out lifesaving rabies prevention activities every day, which gave us the idea for the #ForThemForUs recognition initiative,” says Ingrid Deuzeman, global marketing director, Companion Animal Vaccines, Merck Animal Health. “Elimination is possible when you have so many people working together to raise awareness and keep animals and people healthy.”