About the Initiative
Healthy pets can lead to healthy people! With this in
mind, the Veterinary Public Health Program of the Los
Angeles County Department of Public Health (VPH) created
the 2020 Healthy Pets, Healthy Families Initiative to
generate long term goals in local pet health, monitor
local animal health trends, and develop interventions to
improve both animal and human health.
Our 2020 Healthy Pets, Healthy Families Initiative fuses
the One Health Initiative with the national Healthy
People 2020 model. The One Health Initiative recognizes
how human health, animal health and the ecosystem are
inextricably linked1. It is supported by both the
American Medical Association and the American Veterinary
Medical Association1. The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) also recently highlighted the value
of a One Health approach to disease prevention in their
new Framework for Preventing Infectious Diseases2.
Healthy People 2020 is a national campaign to improve
the health of Americans by creating long term health
goals and objectives that are evidence-based3.
As a part of the initiative, VPH started a coalition of
physicians, veterinarians, and other animal-related
organizations to identify ways human and animal health
intersect. The group will be tracking local animal
health data and setting goals for the year 2020 around a
During this decade, members will be creating educational
campaigns and other strategies to meet the goals. Want
to be a part of this initiative? Register to join the
coalition! Fill out
this registration form
and fax it to 213-481-2375.
Click on each focus area
for more information.
Spay & neuter:
Pets that are spayed or neutered have a reduced risk
of certain cancers, and are less likely to roam, be
hit by a car or bite someone.
Approximately 2% of the population is bitten every
year. Most animal bites can be prevented.
By increasing pet vaccination, we not only protect
pets from these diseases, we also reduce the
financial and emotional costs that these illnesses
inflict on the community.
Pet obesity is skyrocketing, just like with people.
What can help? Walking the dog! Studies show that
walking the dog helps people get the recommended
amount of exercise. By exercising together, owners
and their pets can get healthy.
Pets can develop cancer after being exposed to second
hand smoke. They can become ill after accidentally
eating cigarette butts. A recent study supported the
idea that educating smokers about the risk to pets
may motivate them to quit.
Disaster preparedness and pets:
Preparing the family pets for disasters helps start
the process of preparing the whole family.
Zoonotic diseases and parasite prevention:
Zoonotic diseases are those transmissible between
people and pets. Approximately 60% of the pathogens
that can infect people are zoonotic. Pets owners can
take many simple steps to protect themselves and
their pets. Keeping a pet free of fleas, ticks and
other parasites, protects not only the pet, but the
family and neighborhood, from a variety of diseases.
Pet owners that pick up the poop safeguard the
community from contamination.
Building an Evidence Base
In order to create
local animal health goals and evidence-based
interventions to simultaneously improve animal and human
health, we need local data! Help us collect data by
taking our on-line surveys!
Pet Health & Safety Quiz:
We would like to know about the health of Los Angeles
County dogs and cats. Please take our 6-10 minute quiz
to help us learn more about local pet health.
This short survey asks about which local parks people
visit with their dogs, as well as how much exercise they
engage in at the parks. With this information, we
will create a list of local parks that pet owners can
visit with their dogs to exercise.
We strongly encourage coalition partners to contribute
additional data about community health.
What YOU can do
There are many ways that you can get involved!
Register to join the
coalition! Fill out
this registration formand fax it to 213-481-2375 or email it to
firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send you
information about upcoming events.
Help us collect data
by taking our on-line surveys:
Pet Health & Safety
In order to create local animal health goals and
evidence-based interventions, we need local data!
Encourage your clients and patients to participate
in your waiting
room or lobby.
Distribute our HPHF Animal Owner Handout (English/Español)
to anyone interested.
about animal health.
1. One Health Initiative – One World One Medicine One
Health Website. Available at: http://www.onehealthinitiative.com.
Accessed 31 January 2012.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A
CDC Framework for Preventing Infectious Diseases:
Sustaining the Essentials and Innovating for the Future.
Atlanta, GA: CDC; 2011. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/oid/docs/ID-Framework.pdf.
Accessed 6 February 2012.
3. Healthy People 2020 Website. Available at: http://www.healthypeople.gov.
Accessed 31 January 2012.
Last updated: September 5, 2014