What is the problem that needs to be addressed? Please describe how it is related to mental health.
Veterinary Care for pets – specifically dogs – owned by people experiencing mental illness / homelessness. People experiencing mental illness / homelessness many times are alone and consider a pet such as a dog as their only family. Pets are typically not allowed in homeless facilities unless the pet is a service animal (very expensive). Pets are also vectors of disease to humans.
Why is this a concern for Orange County? What can Orange County and other counties learn from this project?
Pets are a vector of disease to humans especially when veterinary care is not utilized. While mental illness has treatments, dog worms that track into the human liver, eye, brain or lungs can cause irreversable damage. A person with mental illness can achieve activities of daily living and advanced activities of daily living without excessive assistance. A person who is blind, has permanent brain injury, has hepatitis, etc may require highly expensive assistance or healthcare interventions.
What is currently being done to resolve this problem in our county and throughout the United States? If applicable: Is it working; why or why not?
Orange County currently does not treat dogs owned by people experiencing mental illness / homeless. Vital development data, such as morbidity and mortality caused by the dog vector, is unknown.`
What is new or different about this project idea? Please describe how this differs from what is already being done (Question 6). Please list any research that was done on this topic.
https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pets/dogs.html The CDC cites roundworm as a common disease that can progress to invove human lungs, liver, brain and eye. Please see the CDC website for many other diseases with pet dogs as a vector to humans.
What is the project idea? Please describe how this project will operate.
Provide veterinary services to dogs owned by people experiencing homelessness/mental illness. It is likely that treating the dog is less expensive than treating the human disease.
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