APPLICATIONS are currently open for the BetterwithPets Prize – an initiative run by Purina, Europe’s leading pet care business, to identify and support organisations across Europe that harness the power of the pet-human bond. The winning organisation(s) will win a grant of up to £175,000 (€200,000) over a two-year period.
The BetterwithPets Prize initiative is part of Purina’s new commitment to help 1 million people in vulnerable situations improve their health and well-being through the power of the pet-human bond by 2030.
To help raise awareness of the BetterwithPets Prize and encourage organisations harnessing the power of the pet-human bond to apply, Purina has partnered with Dr Amit Patel, a qualified doctor, best-selling author, and disability rights campaigner. Amit is registered as severely sight impaired (blind), having lost his sight to keratoconus in 2013. He has a close relationship with his guide dog, Kika, and is hugely passionate about the power of the pet-human bond.
“My life changed forever when I lost my sight overnight. The world suddenly becomes a much lonelier place. That is until I was matched to Kika, my first guide dog, in 2015. My relationship with Kika is a true partnership and by trusting her with my safety, I’ve gained not only a renewed lease of life but a new best friend too.
“As someone who comes from a medical background but now relies on my guide dog Kika to provide independence and security, I know first-hand how important having a pet by my side can be, not just in providing physical support but also for my mental well-being too.”
This year, the Prize has a new focus on improving the health and well-being of individuals and/or society at large. Amit said:
“I know from my own experience that there is strength in the pet-human bond and that it has the power to be a positive force for change in society. The BetterWithPets Prize is a unique opportunity for those working to improve the health and well-being of humans through the pet-human bond, to gain support, insight, awareness and funding for their ventures.
“Purina launched the BetterwithPets Prize back in 2018 and previous winners have gone on to do amazing things. They include Street Vet who used the Prize fund to develop an accredited hostel scheme to provide shelter for homeless people and their pets and Medical Detection Dogs who train dogs to detect human diseases.
“If you know a deserving organisation doing something incredible with animals, don’t delay. Visit the website to find out more and enter.”
Applications for Purina’s BetterwithPets Prize are open now until 3rd March (23:59 CET). For further details on the application process, eligibility criteria as well as the terms and conditions, please visit the website here.