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  • Writer's picturejulieannsteffen


MPR vaccinates at our vet. We do not use vaccines purchased at Tractor Supply or other home vaccines.

We used to purchase our vaccines from ValleyVet - they came shipped properly in cold storage. We used to have a vet tech administer them properly.

We stopped home vaccines - even though it's cheaper. Short reason why: the benefits of vet vaccines simply exceeded the price difference and ultimately it's in the best interest of the animals to vaccinate at a vet.

Longer reason why (and one sideways tangential rant)…………….

1) Vaccine storage is tricky especially during shipping. There are specific temperature requirements. Can we be sure the teenager loading the truck at tractor supply maintained these exact requirements for the entire shipping process? There are too many unknowns in the tractor supply scenario for us to be sure our animals are getting the protection they need. We felt comfortable with the Valley Vet vaccines we purchased as they came shipped direct and were shipped with cold packs to regulate temperature. Ultimately we stopped that too for the reasons below.

2) We learned that vet offices, groomers, boarders, etc do not always accept self-administered vaccines. This makes sense when you think about it. How is the groomer supposed to know or trust that a home vaccine was given correctly (or given at all). We found even if we ordered our vaccines from a legit source, stored them perfectly and had a vet tech administer them in foster, these vaccines were not being honored by vets. It was forcing adopters to start the vaccine process over with their vet, start the process over to get animals into groomers and animals ended up being over vaccinated. That just isn’t in the best interest of adopters or animals and it’s better to just do it properly at a vet in the first place.

3) We FIRMLY believe every single animal needs to see a vet prior to adoption. There are things a vet can check for that even a very experienced foster can miss. Ear infections, FIV/FELV, blood tests such as testing for heartworms, etc. there are so many reasons every single animal needs a vet check prior to adoption. To purchase a vaccine at a TSC is about 9 dollars. Yes, a vaccine done at a vet is going to be significantly more than that but we feel that expense is worth it to be sure our animals are protected and also clear and healthy from the list of other medical issues we might miss.

4) When giving home vaccines you have to be responsible for what happens to the syringe and the needle. They cannot be responsibly thrown into the trash.

5) There is a risk of vaccine reactions – we learned this from a dog named Gloria. Gloria was vaccinated at a vet per our policy and she immediately swelled up with puffy hives. It’s called anaphylaxis and it’s an allergic reaction. Because she was at a vet office, they could handle that reaction. It’s rare, but it happened to us, so it can’t be that rare, and we’re thankful our vet was able to care for her vs. us trying to handle that alone.

6) Rabies vaccines have to be administered by a licensed vet. You cannot do them yourself. Here’s why we like this policy……………in theory.

Dogs have to be licensed per law. To be licensed dogs have to be rabies vaccinated. Rabies must be done at a vet. That means, in theory, every few years, every dog has to see a vet. If this licensing law was actually enforced, it would be a hassle and an additional expense that irresponsible dog owners and breeders wouldn’t want to bother with. This vet visit would give abused dogs a chance. If a dog is being kept outside and has evidence of frostbite, in theory, a vet could educate an owner and say hey, your dog seems to have evidence of frostbite perhaps you should not be a scum human and keep your dog outside…. The vet could also call animal control and report suspected abuse.

Here’s the problem with that theory. Kent County Animal Control does not enforce, in any meaningful way, licensing laws. Kent County does not prosecute animal abuse. So even if a vet were to call, nothing would happen. This is why it’s a theory that would work, could work, should work, but won’t actually work, until we see changes to the way our county handles licensing laws and abuse cases.

If a vet calls animal control and reports suspected abuse, the owner is going to know who reported the abuse. There is nothing then to stop the owner from going on every review site and spamming the vet office with bad reviews. Vets die from suicide at a higher rate than the public because of unfair drama like this. Vets can try to advocate for these animals but it can lead to humans trashing their clinics on the internet and we have to be aware of and fight back against these kind of false bad reviews and see through them when they are posted online. #NOMV

This theory also assumes animal control will do something about abuse and we have learned time and time again that what the public considers animal abuse doesn’t align with that is enforceable under the law – and we have learned that Kent County doesn’t prosecute animal abuse cases. A legitimate unanswered question is – how many cases of animal abuse did Kent County process last year? Zero? One? Ten?? We know animal abuse happens here. Why is it never prosecuted? We just cleared 50 cats out of a hoard house where they were living in absolute filth unvetted and literally dying from illness – the owners should have been absolutely prosecuted we have never seen such abuse. Owners were not prosecuted. Owners told CPS they had 8 cats and CPS didn’t follow up or investigate or learn of their lie and they did nothing about it after we told them of the lie. Owners are free to get another 50 cats and lie to CPS about it because they know now that CPS will never actually go into the house and check. The system in place now does not stop animal abuse and in fact encourages it as every time an abuser gets away with it they are empowered that their hoarding behavior is not abuse.


MPR seeks adopters committed to the best medical care available. We didn’t rehab and fight for these animals just to have an adopter go cheap on medical care. We are committed to superior medical care and we seek adopters who have the same sense of commitment. It just doesn’t make sense with our marriage to vetting and superior vetting at that to not also want vaccines done at a vet. It just fits our culture and our rescue.

Thank you for reading. This is a controversial topic. We do the things we do for reasons. These are those reasons.

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