Run in collaboration with Ashoka, Purina's world-renowned competition is a pioneer in the field of social entrepreneurship.
Yesterday, 8 finalists waited anxiously for the results of the competition to be announced. And with all the incredible initiatives that had been presented to the judges, making a choice was not an easy feat!
BetterWithPets 2020 Piloted Innovation Category Winner
But – a winner had to be chosen! StreetVet, a UK initiative, is the proud (and highly deserving) winner of the Purina BetterWithPets prize 2020!
StreetVet is made up of 600 vet and vet nurse volunteers who selflessly take to the streets to treat pets belonging to people who are experiencing homelessness. By vaccinating, de-worming, and treating wounds and illnesses free of cost, they help countless bonds between owner and animal remain intact.
With the incredible winning prize of 50,000 Swiss Francs (41,553 Pounds Sterling), StreetVet plans to continue growing their initiative by kick-starting a new project known as the Accredited Hostel Scheme. Too often, due to strict no-pet policies, people experiencing homelessness are asked to choose between a warm place to sleep and staying with their pet. Very rare are those who choose a warm place to sleep. But even for those who do find pet-friendly hostels, their stay is tainted by ‘tolerance’ rather than acceptance. StreetVet aims to change that by providing support to hostel managers and staff to adopt and implement positive pet policies. StreetVet hopes this scheme will start to change mindsets, and hopefully get more hostels on board!
In second place, Gamelles Pleines, a French initiative which distributes meals to people experiencing homelessness and their pets, wins the equivalent of £16,630!
And because the judges believed every project deserved to be recognised, the third-place prize was split into three (with each contestant winning the equivalent of £8,320).
Courthouse Dogs: A Spanish initiative which provides therapy dogs to children who are called to testify in court.
Evi’dence: A French initiative which promotes the benefits of pet therapy by enabling people in prison to care for previously abused and/or neglected pets.
Reading Dogs: A United Arab Emirates project which helps children who struggle to read by providing support dogs!
We would not have been able to choose a winner either – we are so glad all these initiatives are being recognised for the amazing work they do!
BetterWithPets 2020 Idea-Stage Innovation Category Winner
This category involves innovators between 18 and 25 years of age whose projects have not yet launched, but whose ideas are promising.
Because it was once again impossible to choose a single winner, the prize was divided into three. In first place, Russian initiative Homely Home wins the equivalent of £8,317! This beautiful project aims to create bonds between patients in rehabilitation centres and shelter dogs in order to provide them with mutual support and hopefully, a brighter future.
In second place, French initiative SoliVet wins the equivalent of £4,992! Closely related to what StreetVets has been able to achieve in the UK, this project aims to provide support and advice regarding dogs to hostel managers and staff as well as free vet care for pets belonging to people who are experiencing homelessness.
Third place was attributed to PetMe, a Saudi Arabian project which aims to develop adoption in their culture. This project was also selected for the People’s Choice Prize (voted on by Purina and Ashoka employees), bringing their prize money to a total of £3,328!
Well done to all the amazing innovators who are trying to make the world a better place by recognising the important role pets play in it!