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Unleashing Community Power: A Blueprint for Strengthening Families

In an era marked by increasing social fragmentation and disengagement, “Unleashing Community Power: A Blueprint for Strengthening Families” offers a perspective on aligning community resources and activities with a biodiverse society. Join us as we connect with colleagues across sectors to discuss what a blueprint for supporting pet families through a One Health lens could look like.

Unleashing Community Power

October 28th, 2023 from 12:00–3:00 PM
Registration opens at 11:30 AM
Vancouver Fairmont
900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver BC

Tickets: $50 (registration form below)

Most families in the U.S. (7 out of 10) and Canada (6 out of 10) have pets. Ninety-five percent of U.S. households consider their pet a family member (The Harris Poll 2015), a rate believed to be similar among Canadians. Thus, the definition of family has been changed by society.

Healthcare is among the most critical services families need. Yet, a 2018 national study found that more than 1 out of 4 U.S. families desiring veterinary care did not receive any during the previous two years. “Not able to afford” was the overwhelming reason. This disparity in healthcare impacts the health and well-being of the family, the people working to support animal welfare, and the community.

Healthy communities are built upon policies, systems, and programs that yield healthy, biodiverse families. The people and organizations that attend to the needs of pets, many of whom are homeless, perform a crucial social service function. A One Health approach is essential and can be achieved by better aligning community resources and activities. Efforts to improve family health and well-being will always factor in (the likelihood of) pets and reflect the objective of equity.


Amy Fitzgerald, BC Society of Transition Houses
Dr. Emilia Gordon, Haven Veterinary Services
Dr. Michael Blackwell, University of Tennessee
Kathy Powelson, Paws for Hope Animal Foundation.

Registration Form


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