Earlier this year I went to the Purina Better With Pets Forum in Barcelona, an event to celebrate social entrepreneurs who harness the power of dogs to help humans.
Of the five finalists, two of them were from the UK, Canine Hope and Medical Detection Dogs, and the founder of each initiative presented to the judges about the work they do.
Marie Yates set up Canine Hope to help survivors of sexual violence and rescue dogs, and Claire Guest launched Medical Detection Dogs to use dogs amazing sense of smell to detect diseases.
They were joined by Dutch Cell Dogs, The OOPOEH Foundation and Happy Kids With Happy School Dogs and each had the chance to win a £75,000 prize from the pet food and product brand.
Listening to each finalist was so inspiring, and brilliantly, the judges decided to award a prize to each. The OOPOEH Foundation came first and was awarded £30,000 and the remaining £45,000 was shared equally among the rest.
You can read a full report about the event and each enterprise on my pet blog The five social entrepreneurs changing lives with Purina’s Better With Pets.
I wrote about Marie’s programme for a millennial website, The Overtake, and you can read the full article here – Taking the lead – how rescue dogs are helping rape survivors.
Canine Hope, an initiative from social enterprise Canine Perspective CIC, provides a proven programme of trauma recovery, resilience and personal development for survivors of sexual violence, with the help of rescue dogs. They offer a safe place for survivors to learn with and from the canine co-tutor.
Marie Yates, co-Founder and Director of Canine Perspective CIC said: “The Canine Hope programme is dedicated to working with survivors of sexual violence and we aim to provide an innovative and future-focused development process, to offer a positive means of recovery.
“Dogs play a vital role in teaching the survivors we work with, they are among the most resilient of animals and we are continually learning from them.
“Winning the Purina BetterwithPets Prize will transform the services we are able to offer by enabling us to continue developing and growing this pioneering programme, helping both survivors and rescue dogs to thrive.”