The European-wide BetterwithPets Prize celebrates innovations focused on enriching the lives of pets and people.
The finalists of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize, in collaboration with Ashoka, a pioneer in the field of social entrepreneurship, were chosen from 102 applicants across the European Union, as well as Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine and Norway, all focused on enriching the lives of pets and the people who love them.
Medical Detection Dogs and Canine Hope showcased initiatives that harnessed the positive impact of working with pets and the benefit they can have in the health and rehabilitation sector.
Medical Detection Dogs recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with a demonstration at Buckingham Palace and the charity is planning on using the prize money to help further its research into the powerful scenting ability of dogs to detect the early stages of Parkinson’s disease in humans.
Dr Claire Guest, co-founder, chief executive and director of operations for Medical Detection Dogs said: “I’m delighted to accept this prize on behalf of Medical Detection Dogs. Funding of this type is critical to the continuation and growth of our work and we’re delighted that, as a result of this prize from Purina, we’re able to continue our Parkinson’s detection research.”
Canine Hope is a UK-wide initiative from social enterprise Canine Perspective CIC, which works with rescue dogs to help provide trauma recovery, resilience and personal development programmes for survivors of sexual violence. They offer a safe place for survivors to learn with, and from, a canine co-tutor.
Marie Yates, co-founder and director of Canine Perspective CIC added: “I’m thrilled to accept this prize on behalf of Canine Hope. This will further enable us to extend our workshops across south east England and beyond. I’d like to thank Purina for helping to aid our expansion and allowing us to help more survivors or rape and sexual violence.”
Calum Macrae, managing director of Nestlé Purina PetCare northern region, said: “I continue to be inspired by the work of these incredible organisations and the hugely positive impact they have on people’s lives. I have been humbled to learn more about how the prize funding from the BetterwithPets award has allowed their initiatives to expand and continue to push the boundaries by harnessing the incredible power of pets and people.”
Netherlands-based OOPOEH (Opa’s en Oma’s Passen Op Een Huisdier) Foundation won the BetterwithPets Prize earlier this year securing £30,000 to support their initiative to reduce loneliness and increase physical activity for the elderly by matching them as a dog sitter to a family in their neighbourhood. Other finalists Dutch Cell Dogs and K9 Hundekunde: Happy Kids with Happy School Dogs also received recognition and £11,000 funding toward their initiatives.