Pet Ribbon enables pet-assisted therapy
“Pets make children’s dreams come true” is the motto of “Pet Ribbon”, a charitable initiative created by WHISKAS® and PEDIGREE®. This annual fundraising promotion which takes place around World Animal Day in October partners with “Stiftung Kindertraum” (“Children’s Dream Foundation”), an organisation which fulfils wishes of seriously ill or handicapped children.
About a quarter of these wishes concerns pets and pet-assisted therapy. To fulfil them, the foundation receives 1 cent for every WHISKAS® and PEDIGREE® product sold during the promotion period. Including the proceeds of the sale of “Pet Ribbon” stick pins, € 50,000 were raised in 2014. Altogether more than € 170,000 have been collected since the beginning of the initiative in 2012.
The autumn of 2015 marked the beginning of a new “Pet Ribbon” fundraising drive. Among other projects on this year’s wishlist: pet-assisted therapy at the Fischamend special needs school. This special institution has used dog-assisted therapy for a number of years. With the animals’ help therapists can address the different individual needs of the children and provide them with specific support. The different exercises and games help advance their physical and cognitive skills. Moreover the contact with the dogs strengthens the children’s self-esteem and their sensibility.
Needless to say, the long-term effect of the therapy depends upon its continuity. Financial support by “Pet Ribbon” ensures that the weekly sessions with a trained therapist can continue.
Besides “Pet Ribbon” Mars Austria also supports other programmes for responsible pet ownership and research into the human-pet relationship, such as “Schulhund.at” (“school dog”)