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08.06.2018 – 11:38

Nestlé Purina PetCare EMENA

The OOPOEH Foundation Wins the First Ever Purina BetterwithPets Prize in Europe

Barcelona, Spain (ots/PRNewswire)

- The winner has been awarded CHF 40,000 and the rest of the 
  finalists -Canine Hope (UK), Dutch Cell Dogs (Netherlands), Medical
  Detection Dogs (UK) and K9 Hundekunde: Happy Kids with Happy School
  Dogs (Germany)-  have  been  highly commended and awarded CHF  
  15,000 each
- The BetterwithPets  Prize is a  CHF 100,000  total  cash prize 
  awarded  as  part of  a  Purina  European-wide search for 
  innovative  initiatives  that  harness the positive power of the 
  pet-human bond 

Purina is proud to announce the long awaited winner of the BetterwithPets Prize. The Prize is in collaboration with Ashoka, a pioneer in the field of social entrepreneurship, and has been awarded at the Purina BetterwithPets Forum 2018, held in La Mola, Barcelona, Spain. The OOPOEH (Opa's en Oma's Passen Op Een Huisdier) Foundation is the winner and has been awarded CHF 40,000 to support and accelerate their innovative initiative to continue to harness the positive and impactful power of the pet-human bond. The other four finalists, Canine Hope, Dutch Cell Dogs, Medical Detection Dogs and K9 Hundekunde: Happy Kids with Happy School Dogs, have also been awarded CHF 15,000 of the prize total as highly commended initiatives.

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The OOPOEH Foundation who was high recommended by the judges is based in The Netherlands. The foundation hopes to reduce loneliness and increase physical activity for the elderly by matching them as a dog sitter to a family in their neighbourhood.

"We are honoured and excited to be awarded this prize, this will allow us to increase our initiative's social impact," said Sofie Brouwer, Founder of the OOPOEH Foundation. "We had a fantacstic workshop with Purina and now look to continue our project to target vulnerable seniors with the advice and inspiration taken from the BetterwithPets Forum."

The Purina BetterwithPets Prize was announced by Bernard Meunier, CEO of Nestlé Purina PetCare EMENA, in November 2017, as a search for leading innovations focused on enriching the lives of pets and the people who love them. In March this year the platform to submit the entries for the Prize was opened, and 102 applications were submitted from across Europe. After an online screening and an expert jury review, five finalists were selected to pitch live their projects at the Purina BetterwithPets Forum 2018, these were Canine Hope, Dutch Cell Dogs, Medical Detection Dogs, K9 Hundekunde: Happy Kids with Happy School Dogs, and The OOPOEH Foundation. Each presented their project during the Forum to an expert panel, as well as participating in workshops to find solutions to their challenges with social innovators, entrepreneurs, and pet industry experts and authorities as part of this one-day event.

"It was truly moving to hear from the finalists and learn more about their inspiring programmes and how they have managed to create such a positive impact in their communities," said Bernard Meunier, CEO of Nestlé Purina PetCare EMENA. "Our society often talks about the emotional, as well as the physical, effects of ageing. Loneliness is one of the key issues that many are facing, with the most vulnerable seniors being hard to reach as they rarely leave their home and socialise. The OOPOEH Foundation has helped many elderly citizens improve their quality of life. Most importantly, we congratulate them on their efforts to date and their prize-winning presentation, which captured the essence of their initiative, as well as their commitment to their communities and pets. We will continue to work with them as they invest the prize money to fast track their initiative."

The Purina BetterwithPets Forum was not only to award the winner of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize, but also bring together social innovators, entrepreneurs and stakeholders from across Europe to learn more about social innovation, to network and participate in workshops. The participants exchanged ideas, shared their expertise, talked about their challenges and created valuable connections to start working together. "We wanted to create a network of powerful connections to make change happen, together. We believe that this forum will become a catalyst for change, enabling richer lives for pets, the people who love them and our communities," said Bernard Meunier.


- Antonella Broglia - anchor of TV programme Para todos La 2 about 
  social entrepreneurs, and Ashoka España Ambassador, Spain
- Mary Sharrock - External Relations Director, Nestlé Purina PetCare 
- Professor Dr Marie-Jose Enders-Slegers - President IAHAIO 
  (International Association of Human Animal Interaction 
- Professor Jeff French - Professor of Social Marketing, Brighton 
  University Business School, UK 


Applicants whose work focuses on any of the categories below were invited to apply.

Healthier together

The demands of a modern, more sedentary life means that people either have less time or are less likely to be physically active with their pets. We are looking for community-focused initiatives and innovations that enable people and their pets to live active and healthy lives together. Potential entries could:

- Facilitate a healthier and fitter lifestyle for both pets and 
- Prevent obesity for both pets and people 

Connecting together

People of all ages are experiencing a sense of isolation and disconnection, be it from the increasing complexity of modern life and technology, or because ageing and minority populations are being overlooked, which can leave them feeling lonely and cut off from society. We are looking for initiatives that span communities and ages, and that celebrate the power of the pet-human bond for better emotional well-being, to help foster and cultivate empathy and emotional self-care. Potential entries could:

- Help to overcome societal disconnection and isolation
- Seek to provide interventions for emotional well-being 

Enjoying spaces together

Increasing urbanisation and more regulations have led to fewer pet-friendly open spaces and greater restrictions in places where pet owners can take their pets. We are looking for initiatives that enable both people and pets to enjoy and share the same spaces, as well as demonstrate a social and/or economic benefit (e.g. pets in workplaces), and enhanced pet-friendly areas in urban and rural spaces. Potential entries could include:

- Enabling greater access to pets in everyday settings
- Enhanced design of pet-friendly spaces to enable pets and humans to
  spend better quality time together 


Winning applications will show strength in the following areas:

- Innovation: The initiative must represent an innovative approach to
  the problem it seeks to address. Innovation may result from the use
  of new methods, models or technologies, or from the application of 
  old methods, models or technologies in new and innovative ways
- Social impact: The initiative must have proven its worth on a pilot
  or small-scale basis, and already have measurable, quantifiable 
  social impact
- Potential for scaling up and/or replication: The initiative should 
  have strong growth potential and/or be replicable to other social, 
  cultural or geographical settings
- Financial viability: The initiative must be built on a viable 
  business model, and/or show realistic and long-term plans for 
  long-term financial viability, and must have the potential to 
  continue beyond the Purina BetterwithPets Prize funding
- Organisational  leadership: The initiative and its leaders must 
  show leadership to influence the field in which they work, as well 
  as the ability to incorporate and leverage the investment by Purina
  and the support offered through the Purina BetterwithPets Prize
- Potential for  Creating  Shared  Value: The initiative should 
  create value for all stakeholders, thereby exemplifying the concept
  of Creating Shared Value: it is our fundamental belief that our 
  business will be successful in the long term by creating value for 
  society at large, for pets and people in the community where we 
  live, work and play 

About Nestlé Purina PetCare EMENA

Nestlé Purina PetCare EMENA (Europe, Middle East, North Africa) believes that pets and people are better together and is committed to helping pets live longer, happier and healthier lives through proper nutrition and care. For over 120 years, Purina has been one of the pioneers in providing nutritious and palatable products made to the highest standards of quality and safety. Purina's passion for pets goes beyond the advancement of pet nutrition and in 2016 Purina PetCare Europe launched the 10 Purina in Society commitments to have a positive impact on pets and society, including promoting pet adoption, pets in the workplace and helping to reduce the risk of pet obesity. The Purina portfolio includes many of the best-known and best-loved pet foods including Felix®, Purina ONE®, Gourmet® and Pro Plan®.

A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.

For more information, visit the Purina website:


ASHOKA is the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs - individuals with new ideas to systemically address the world's biggest challenges and the entrepreneurial skill to transform those ideas into national, regional and global social impact. Over 35 years, they have supported more than 3,300 social entrepreneurs in 90 countries with solutions addressing society's most pressing issues. Ashoka's vision is a world in which Everyone is a Changemaker - a society that responds quickly and effectively to challenges, and where each individual has the freedom, confidence and societal support to address any social problem.


Cassandra Blázquez
or Mary Sharrock

Original content of: Nestlé Purina PetCare EMENA, transmitted by news aktuell

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