Two UK organisations shortlisted for Purina BetterWithPets prize

Two UK organisations have been shortlisted for the £75,000 Purina BetterWithPets Prize.

Medical Detection Dogs and Canine Hope are among a shortlist of five finalists who have a chance to win a prize of £75,000 – designed to support and accelerate innovative initiatives that harness the positive power of the pet-human bond.

The finalists of the Purina BetterWithPets prize 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.

Metal Detection Dogs, a UK charity is hoping to further its research into the powerful scenting ability of dogs to help detect the early stages of Parkinson’s disease in patients.

Canine Hope is an initiative from social enterprise Canine Perspective CIC, which provides a proven programme of trauma recovery, resilience and personal development for survivors of sexual violence, with the help of rescue dogs.

Calum Macrae, Regional Director for Purina UK & Ireland, said: “It’s fantastic to have two inspiring UK organisations doing such challenging, important work, among the final five on our shortlist. All of our finalists demonstrated how harnessing the pet-human bond in an innovative way can help lead to positive changes in communities to benefit us all.”

Following the announcement of the finalists, new research reveals that the British dog-owning public think their dogs have already helped them or could help others.

The research was conducted by Opinium on behalf of Purina and showed that 72% of owners felt that their dog had helped to cheer them up, and 51% believed their dog could help someone else in need. Of those pet owners surveyed, 50% said that their dog helped them to live a healthier lifestyle and 37% of owners felt their dogs helped to ease their anxiety.

Metal Detection Dogs and Canine Hope join Dutch Cell Dogs Foundation, K9 Hundekunde and The OOPOEH Foundation in the shortlist for the prestigious prize. The finalists will showcase their initiatives to a panel of four judges in Barcelona today.