Veterinary Public Health

Pet Health Calendar
Contact Information
Veterinary Public Health Program
313 N Figueroa St. Rm 1127
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel (213) 989-7060
Tel: (877) 747-2243
Fax (213) 481-2375
Adobe Reader
Get Adobe Reader icon
Note: PDF documents on this site were created using Adobe Acrobat 5.0 or later. If you are using an earlier version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (4.x or less), document functionality may be reduced.
The 2020 Healthy Pets, Healthy Families Initiative


About the Initiative

The Coalition

Focus Areas

Building an Evidence Base

What YOU Can Do

RELEASED! (02/11/2014)

 Healthy Pets Healthy Families Report

 Learn more about our goals for the year 
 2020. Click here pdf icon for a copy of the report.



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.

The Coalition

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 few main
focus areas. 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 pdf icon and fax it to 213-481-2375.

Focus Areas

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.
  • Bite prevention: Approximately 2% of the population is bitten every year. Most animal bites can be prevented.
  • Vaccine-preventable diseases: 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.
  • Obesity: 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.
  • Second-hand smoke: 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.

Parks Survey: 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!


1. One Health Initiative – One World One Medicine One Health Website. Available at: 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 Accessed 6 February 2012.
3. Healthy People 2020 Website. Available at: Accessed 31 January 2012.

Last updated: September 5, 2014

Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
Los Angeles County Seal: Enriching lives through effective and caring services