Back in the UK after an awesome event in Barcelona, we’ve had the chance to think about the whirlwind adventure that was the Purina BetterWithPets Forum 2018.
Being told that Canine Hope, the signature programme from Canine Perspective CIC working with survivors of rape and rescue dogs, had made the final was incredible. Being at the event took that feeling to a whole new level.
We were alongside four other finalists, Medical Detection Dogs, also from the UK, Dutch Cell Dogs (Netherlands), K9 Hundekunde: Happy Kids with Happy School Dogs (Germany) and The OOPOEH Foundation (Netherlands).
‘The BetterwithPets Prize is a CHF 100,000 total cash prize awarded as part of a Purina European wide search for innovative initiatives that harness the positive power of the pet–human bond.’ Exciting, right?!
We didn’t win! However, we still feel like winners.
This is why.
‘The OOPOEH Foundation is the winner and has been awarded CHF 40,000 to support and accelerate their innovative initiative to continue to harness the positive and impactful power of the pet-human bond. The other four finalists, Canine Hope, Dutch Cell Dogs, Medical Detection Dogs and K9 Hundekunde: Happy Kids with Happy School Dogs, have also been awarded CHF 15,000 of the prize total as highly commended initiatives.’
That means we can get started straight away on delivering our next series of Canine Hope programmes. We’re heading to the South West Region where we’ve been talking to the CEOs of four charities working with survivors. We’ll also be returning to Cohort4 in the Midlands to deliver Canine Hope to a new group of women and we’re hoping to add a couple of other organisations to the list in the next few weeks too.
In addition, we’ll be working on the next stage of all things #TeamLuna. This allows us to take messages of resilience to a mainstream audience and build on the sustainability of the work we’re doing.
“Canine Hope is a programme designed for survivors of sexual violence as well as dogs that have been rescued. Through the stories of the dogs, this organisation explores the physiology of trauma, recovery and resilience for the benefit of both the human and dog. It is the magic of looking through the eyes of a dog, being able to explore how dogs who have not been treated well yet can still learn to trust again, which gives hope to survivors. It is an incredible example of how the power of the pet–human bond supports and creates hope for the most vulnerable in our society. That is why Canine Hope were a ‘highly commended’ finalist and awarded 15,000 CHF to continue their life-changing work.”
(Calum Macrae, Regional Managing Director for Nestlé Purina Pet Care)
Having had a burst of inspiration from the Forum, we can’t wait to start putting the new ideas into action. We were lucky enough to talk with some of the leading researchers, innovators and practitioners in the human-animal bond which was the opportunity of a lifetime.
So, huge congratulations to the OOPOEH Foundation who have an awesome project and to the other finalists who also have awesome projects! It was an honour to share the stage with you all and learn about your work.
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