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Pets for Life as One Health

The aim of this study is to measure the impacts of an intensive animal welfare intervention on public and environmental health within the One Health framework.

The future of companion animal welfare work is becoming increasingly contingent upon its ability to serve as a resource for all pets in the community, not just those who end up at an animal shelter. To achieve transformational change, the field of animal welfare must adapt to work effectively at the community level by recognizing that the health of humans, animals and the environment are intimately interconnected within the One Health framework.

My research group, in collaboration with Humane Society of the United States, is conducting a study to measure the community-wide impacts of the Pets for Life program. Because this program focuses on improving access to veterinary healthcare, it offers a unique opportunity to assess the potentially linked impacts on human and environmental health. The study to test the One Health concept is being conducted in four new Pets for Life communities.