Doctors dog for children

The relationship between human and dogs represents a very powerful motivational tool in a therapeutical context

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize and, based on its description, I am eligible to apply:

  • Yes, I’m eligible
  • Yes, I’m 18 years old or older

Should you be successful, please confirm your availability to attend:

  • Additional Skype interview(s) during the week of March 16-20th 2020

Initiative's representative name

Giulia Casano

Initiative's representative date of birth


Initiative's representative gender

  • Woman

Headquarters location: country

  • Italy

Headquarters location: city

Via Guglielmo Rondelet 163 00134 - Rome

Where are you making a difference?


Website or social media url(s)


Focus Areas

  • Fostering emotional intelligence and behavioural competences

What is your current yearly budget for the initiative? If you are an idea stage, what early budget you would need to kick-off and run operations in your first year?

  • €1k - €10k

Organisation Type

  • nonprofit/NGO: an organisation that uses its resources to achieve a purpose outside of creating profit

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) consist of recreational and psycho-relational support interventions, aimed at improving the quality of life of various categories of users (children, people with some disabilities, hospitalized patients, elderly people, prisoners) and made through animals with appropriate charateristics.

3. Your solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Animal Assisted Therapies (TAA) are individualized interventions on the patient, used in support of traditional therapies, for the treatment of the disease he or she suffers from and are practiced using specially trained animals. They are aimed at improving disorders in the physical, motor, psychic, cognitive or emotional sphere. They are designed on the basis of the health and psycho-relational indications provided by the doctor and/or psychologist-psychotherapist and include precise objectives and indicators of effectiveness.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

This first phase of the project has a mainly recreational and emotional-affective support value. Overall, we will aim to strengthen the person's internal resources with an increase in well-being. Through interactive, recreational, playful, affiliate and social situations, we will stimulate social and relational integration in users. We will therefore intervene to give the user more resources to deal with his problematic situation, while not acting directly on it. In detail the aims of the first step of the project (AAA) are essentially: 1. Increase self-esteem; 2. Increase relational availability; 3. Decrease the states of fear and anxiety, improve mood tone; 4. Stimulating collaboration and empathic skills.

5. How does your project harness the pet-human bond to help people develop important social competencies (For example: emotional intelligence, collaboration, empathy, resilience, inclusivity) and overcome serious societal issues (for example: violence, abuse, trauma, isolation, abandonment)?

Generally speaking, the objectives of the project are to improve the skills of each child in the areas: • Motor: fine and gross motor skills, eye/manual coordination and spatial orientation. Improvement of posture, mobility, locomotion. Maximising the exploitation of residual physical capacity; • Somato-motor: strengthening of the kinetic area and competence in the realization of particular movements and motor skills; • Psycho-motor: improvement of integration skills between psychic and somatic components; • Cognitive: memory, attention, verbal and non-verbal expressive and receptive abilities, problem solving; • Behavioural: control of hyperactivity, body relaxation, respect for rules, tolerance to frustration and management of waiting times, modelling of compliant behaviour; • Communicative-verbal: strengthening of the ability to produce and understand language; through specific exercises, the acquisition of new vocabulary and an improvement in production will be attempted, work on the emotional state through play and always through it, exercises that improve verbal comprehension will be promoted.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

Over the years of our activity, we have had a positive response from all types of patients we have met (elderly, children, persons with various disabilities, relatives, cancer patients, teachers, etc), as well as doctors who have been able to see biochemical and physical improvements.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for different stakeholders?

Animal Assisted Interventions can be a valuable support to traditionals therapies in situations of physical, mental or emotional distress.we usually ask for financial c

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

we usually ask for financial contributions from the structures where we work, but sometimes you can set up fundraisers to start projects

10. Team: what is the current composition of your team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

we are three professionals specialized in pet therapy: i am also a child rehabilitation therapist, Grazia is a professional educator and a dog educator, Marta is specializes in paragility. We also have a psychologist, a veterinarian and excellent outside helpers.

11. How do you plan to influence your field of work if you are a winner of this edition of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize?

we could finally start the project with the necessary funds to help a significant number of children.

12. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Email


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