Horse riding and dog breeding complex

I am the founder of this project

Photo of Roman Saiapov
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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

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

Roman Saiapov

Initiative's representative date of birth

8101979

Initiative's representative gender

  • Man

Headquarters location: country

  • Russia

Headquarters location: city

Izhevsk

Where are you making a difference?

Udmurt republik

Website or social media url(s)

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008799031394 https://www.facebook.com/udmdogs/ https://www.instagram.com/udmdogs_18/

Date Started

09/2020

Focus Areas

  • Enhance physical activity and wellness
  • Re-imagining the role of pets in society
  • raising the culture of animal ownership in our region

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?

  • €50k - €100k

Organisation Type

  • hybrid: a combination of different types of organisations, such as a social enterprise (an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being)

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.

I and my wife Elena have been training dogs since childhood, over 30 years. We got professional education and organized a canine center in 2006. It works successfully today. The idea of combining dogs and horses in one complex was prompted by our customers. Usually, we deal with families, and while some are engaged with dogs, others can engage with an equestrian trainer. We liked this idea, we began to conduct surveys among our clients, and it turned out that more than 90% of respondents supported the idea. The number of clients of the center, dog trainers and staff has grown 3 times since the beginning. We want to open a new direction and attract more people.

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

There are no such centers in our region where kids and adults could communicate with animals, learn how to care for them and receive corrective treatment. This problem is especially acute for people with disabilities since most public places are not equipped with special equipment and do not have specially trained personnel.

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

The government of the republic allocated a land plot of 10 hectares to our center. It will house the infrastructure of the complex. Our goal is the opening of a dog center and riding club. Horses and dogs are the best human friends and can teach a lot of visitors to the center. Center will include hippotherapy, Canis therapy and holding demonstration show. This will allow us to increase the number of people involved in the center by 2 times and increase the culture of keeping pets and responsible treatment of pets. At the moment, we already teach dogs obedience, work with children with disabilities, introduce a program “read with a dog”, recruit interested parents with children, visit children's rehabilitation centers along with dogs with demonstrations and lectures on dog-human interaction, we help local animal shelters, every year we speak at cultural events of our city and republic. With the increase of complex areas, we will have a direction related to horses: training, preparing children for speaking at competitions, working with children with disabilities under the "hippotherapy" program.

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

We are the only company in the region that is engaged in this activity, has its own infrastructure and its training programs. We began to engage in cynological activities in 2006 and are successfully coping and developing. There is no such multidirectional complex of work with animals in the regions closest to Udmurtia. There are such centers only in Moscow and St. Petersburg. And we want to make such a complex in our region so that residents have the opportunity to touch the animal world and increase interest in a healthy lifestyle, playing sports with dogs and horses.

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)?

Every year we organize 624 classes attended by 7480 people of different ages, abilities and nationalities. Each training begins with the rules of correct and safe interaction with dogs, we teach the basics of physiology and anatomy. Our goal is to give all students, both adults and children, not only educational and emotional practice, but also to increase the responsibility of owning and interacting with a pet. In Russia, the attitude to dogs is quite low, and the lessons we teach are just as important as those that children receive at school. In 2019 we started classes “we read with the dog”. As a result that children are more willing to learn to read, there is a desire to read, rather than sit on the couch with the gadget, the shyness and uncertainty disappear. Our trips with dogs to children's rehabilitation centers help kids distract from their difficult life situations and always cause smiles on children's faces.

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?

We plan: a) to increase the number of visitors to the center up to 10 thousand people annually; b) increase the number of classes with children with disabilities by 40%; c) increase the holding of masterclasses and lectures for children and adults by 100% - up to 30 lessons per year; d) through holding sports events to increase the number of people involved in sports with animals in our region by 150%; e) increase the sale of feed from 300 thousand rubles. up to 1.5 million rubles. annually, which increases the annual turnover of the company to 9.5-10 million rubles. People will become more responsible for acquiring pets. Evaluation is carried out through surveys in social groups and surveys of complex clients.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

The strategy for 2 years includes the construction of the infrastructure of the complex. Attracting customers: a) SEO and SMM activities on the internet; b) through demonstrations at the city and republican holidays; c) through major sporting events. The signing of an agreement between our company and the Ministry of Education of the Republic and the Administration of Izhevsk on holding seminars, lectures and master classes for children of preschool and school-age, as well as for children with disabilities and children in social shelters

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

Our 3Our experience shows that a person needs to communicate with nature, whether it be wild animals in zoos or pets. This helps relieve stress, get more positive emotions from communication with animals, improve health, and sometimes give up bad habits. We are expanding the possibilities of our activity, and we have excellent opportunities for correct and responsible interaction with animals, resolving issues of protection and assistance to animals, communicating with animals, and helping people in difficult life situations.

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?

Currently, we charge a fee for all our services, which allows us to cover all the costs of the center. The cost of our services changes once every 2 years, which makes our services available to various segments of the population, and work with disabled children and rehabilitation centers are free. To develop our activities, we hope to receive this grant, use a loan from the bank, and donations from sponsors.

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?

Our team has a permanent staff: 5 instructors, as well as 5 assistant instructors. During the training of students, we selected the personnel among those who showed good results and showed interest in dog training. All our instructors work on an ongoing basis; annually, professional development seminars are held. Assistants help in the economic activities of the company, go in for sports with dogs.

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

The budget will be spent on creating a comfortable infrastructure for conducting classes in our center: a riding hall for horses, a stadium for competitions, construction of sports equipment for agility, as well as financing of the trips of our team to rehabilitation children's centers. If we win a grant, it will be spent specifically on construction, because without creating the necessary infrastructure we will not be able to achieve the stated goals and adhere to the necessary directions in our activities.

12. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media

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