EUROPE’S leading pet-care company, Purina, has announced the winners of its BetterwithPets prize.
Two UK charities are among the three overall winners, whittled down from a shortlist of more than 110 organisations across Europe.
Pets As Therapy and StreetVet, along with the Spanish organisation Center de Teràpies Assistides amb Cans, all scooped the top spots, being recognised for setting standards and best practices in fostering people’s health and well-being through the power of the pet-human bond.
The three winning organisations will each share a proportion of the total £175,000 (€200,000) prize pot, which will be paid out over a two-year period. This will provide crucial funding and resources to help each make an even greater positive impact on the lives of individuals, pets and their communities through the vital work they are already doing.
Pets As Therapy was awarded for its work in providing visits from therapy pets to help support people who might be struggling with loneliness or mental health issues in a number of different places, such as hospitals, care homes and prisons across the UK.
Clare Davis, CEO of Pets As Therapy, said:
“We know PAT visits can’t fix the world, but each and every day our volunteers and their pets are making a difference in people’s lives. From enabling someone lost in the fog of dementia to speak or being a catalyst for someone to speak when they’ve not been able to say what’s wrong. Our impact is immediate, it’s in the here and now.”
StreetVet was awarded for its free and essential veterinary care for the pets of those experiencing homelessness on Britain’s streets.
Jade Statt, Co-Founder and Clinical Director for StreetVet, said:
“StreetVet understands the importance of the pet-human bond. For our clients, pets provide companionship, non-judgemental love, mental health support, a conduit to social connection and, in many cases, a reason to live.”
Spanish organisation Center de Teràpies Assistides amb Cans was also awarded for its work providing animal-assisted interventions to help people of all conditions such as those in hospital and those in socially compromised situations.
Reflecting on winning a share of the £175,000 (€200,000) prize pot, Jade Statt, Co-Founder and Clinical Director for StreetVet, said:
“Our work with Purina since 2020 has been game-changing and being successful in 2023 reinforces how far StreetVet has come. The funding will help us pursue sustainable growth and create more opportunities to collaborate and maximise our impact.”
Clare Davis, CEO of Pets As Therapy, added:
“If ‘Pets As Therapy’ was an unpolished diamond, winning the BetterwithPets Prize will help it to shine by widening our reach and helping us refine our training and support, enabling us to address our growing waiting list and provide more PAT teams into the places which need us.”
Calum Macrae, Regional Director of Purina UK & Ireland, said:
“I’m thrilled that two brilliant UK charities are both winners of this year’s Purina BetterWithPets Prize. StreetVet does incredible work in helping to protect the pet-human bond, often when it’s needed most. The mental and physical well-being benefits that StreetVet brings to both pets and people experiencing homelessness are huge.
“Pets As Therapy equally has a huge impact through their work to support vulnerable people. The impressive scale they achieve through their unique model, using volunteer pets and owners, makes a massive difference in local communities. I’m looking forward to working with both charities in the future.”
The BetterwithPets Prize initiative builds on Purina’s new commitment to help 1,000,000 people in vulnerable situations improve their health and well-being by 2030.
To find out more about Purina’s BetterWithPets Prize winners, click here.