Education saves lives
Educate the young generation for compassion and care, considering pets living creatures and not objects for play with.
For over 20 years the public opinion has neglected the stray dogs. The lack of education has postponed the start of a mass action in the field of animal protection and their welfare. AMP believes in the importance of education so that children can understand why such actions are needed.
During the school year 2013/2014, AMP has conducted the first animal welfare lessons in schools in Romania. The main goal was to establish a certain level of knowledge and interest among pupils. Since then, more than 5.000 children participated to our lessons.
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:
Should you be successful, please confirm your availability to attend:
Additional Skype interview(s) during the week of March 16-20th 2020
The Purina BetterwithPets Forum in Paris, on 3-4th of June 2020
Initiative's representative name
Initiative's representative date of birth
Initiative's representative gender
Headquarters location: country
Headquarters location: city
Where are you making a difference?
Website or social media url(s)
Re-imagining the role of pets in society
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?
nonprofit/NGO: an organisation that uses its resources to achieve a purpose outside of creating profit
1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.
After more than 20 years of saving street dogs and cats I realized that only an educational program for the young generation could change the faith of so many pets who bring puppies who are not wanted and arrive in the street, at the garbage or are left on their own around the town. When the children who visit our shelters arrived to convince their parents to neuter the dogs and the cats they own, I decided to go in schools and teach the pupils the responsibility of having a domestic animal home.
2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
The problem of the stray dogs and cats is very big in Romania and the politics believe that only killing them there is a solution. I try to show that neutering the pets with owner we avoid so much suffering for the animals who are not desired and also for the humans who cannot bear to know that millions of dogs and cats are killed every year.
3. Your solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
The information we provide to the children arrive to the parents who most of them doesn’t imagine that is so easy to neuter the dog or the cat instead to through the puppies every time their own pet is breading. The association I drive does the neutering for free.
4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?
The new approach of my method is to develop the compassion and the responsibility of the young generation who will become the future owner of home pets. I am against the method of neutering and release the pets back in the street and I think is better to avoid the reproducing without control of pets. I created 3 shelters, but the life of pets is not in a shelter even if it is the best. Pets need a family to care for, to give them attention and love.
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)?
“The education is the most powerful weapon to change the world” (Nelson Mandela) This is the motto of my project which stays on the first page of the text book we give to every pupil who is studding one year “the welfare of animals” class. The empathy, the respect of other creatures, of the environment is learning from the little age. Bringing the children in the shelter where are so many dogs and cats abandoned wakes them up to the problem of uncontrolled breading. This is part of the educational program we developed since 5 years, with the benediction of EU Commission.
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?
The educational program began in Brasov, but was extended to the cities around because the Majors saw that Brasov is the only town in Romania where dogs and cats are not euthanized and every year the number of stray decreased. The number of school who ask my association to participate to the educational project is every year bigger. There are more than 5000 students who participated to this program. The communities of Zarnesti city and Stupini neighborhood are affected and are happy of this project. Our problem is that we cannot answer to all communities who want to participate to the project.
7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?
In the long term it would be useful to make a training for all the teachers who want to develop this program because until now there are only the employees of the association who present the lessons in all classes. The teachers tried but the pupils put questions where people who are not in animal protection field don’t know to answer. Some training could help to spread this program to all the country.
8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for different stakeholders?
The pets owners must treat animals as a family member, must provide them appropriate food, veterinary care but this must be learned before buying or adopting an animal of company. I wish to change the mentality of buying animals as toys for Christmas to abandon them for the first holidays . My program includes advertising for hotels to accept pets. Pets like all the other animals are part of our world where they must have a right place.
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?
The project is supported by the partners of the association AMP, but recently a bank understood the importance of educating young generation (future clients) and began to support this program.
If the program succeeds to grow to the national level we hope that the Education Ministry will take in count to include such a matter of study supporting at least the text books.
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?
2 Vice president
1 HR inspector, 1 PR assistant, 1 IT programmer - all three are going also at schools, like teachers on our courses
Victory Dog Shelter manager
Libearty Bear Sanctuary manager
Vets - 2 collaborators
2 employees who manage with all the emergencies cases on the field
1 customer information officer - she 's working for us, but in the public shelter
11. How do you plan to influence your field of work if you are a winner of this edition of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize?
If ever Purina consider that this project has a future in many non-develop countries (in the animal protection field) I think the politicians will take more seriously the problem of the animal situation in Romania, because unfortunately all the social life depends on politics decisions. And some of the participants to this edition will wish may be to develop an educational program in their own country. I could offer the text book which is in English to be used by them. I have already offered the study material to Mexic.
12. How did you hear about this challenge?