LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — On Sunday, nonprofit animal shelter Hearts Alive Village provided free vaccinations for Southern Nevada pets. Families from across the Las Vegas valley brought their furry friends to get protection from the parvo and distemper viruses.

Parvo and distemper are some of the most prevalent diseases affecting pets. They are highly contagious viral diseases that can cause serious symptoms and even death, especially for unvaccinated puppies and kittens. The viruses are easily spread by direct contact with an infected dog or cat, the infected animal’s feces, or contact with virus-contaminated surfaces.

“It’s a tough disease to treat,’” Christy Stevens, Executive Director of Hearts Alive Village said. “You have to do fluid therapy and anti-viral, and it can be very, very expensive – thousands of dollars – when one little shot or two little shots can save their lives.”

The distemper/parvo vaccine is considered one of the core vaccines for cats and dogs within their first year of life. The vaccine is usually around $15, but thanks to Petco Love’s National Vaccination Initiative, Hearts Alive Village was able to offer it free of charge.

“We love to see people with their pets. We know that the human-animal bond is everything,” Stevens said. “Any opportunity we have to support that, with the high cost of vet care these days, we love it. Our whole goal is keeping families together and keeping animals healthy and happy.”

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