Founded on December 8 2020, The Royal Canin Foundation is there to show cats and dogs have a special place in society, by backing keynote projects that make the world kinder, gentler for both people and pets.
“We wanted to highlight the many benefits cats and dogs have on our lives and fund projects supporting the positive role of pets in human health and welfare” said Fabrice Mathieu, Global Sustainability Director and Royal Canin Foundation Administrator.
The Royal Canin Foundation gives financial and organizational support for projects around the world, boosting the help that pets give to human health and welfare. Those projects cover three key areas: the health and welfare of working dogs, pets supporting human and medical health.
In 2021, the Foundation Board will commit close to US$ 1 million to support more than 10 projects chosen among 44, for which Royal Canin Associates have proposed and voted.
- Detection of breast cancer by dogs. The Foundation is supporting the French Institut Curie on its Kdog project, which aims at developing a clear and effective methodology for cancer detection by dogs. Breast cancer has an odor, which dogs can detect with over 90 percent success rate during tests. Kdog seeks to develop a scientific toolbox with instruments and protocols, certification training, and guidelines for scientific communities working on medical detection.
- Certified training for dog handlers and teachers for medical detection dogs. This is a French and Canadian project based on the ability of dogs to detect severe human diseases such as cancer, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, and COVID-19. French and Canadian veterinary colleges, specialists supporting dog trainers, and medical universities are partnering to implement a Certified Medical Detection Dogs Handlers Training, to provide standardized methodology and gather knowledge for this discipline. This methodology will then go into the scientific toolbox developed by Institut Curie (France) and available for any team willing to develop a detection protocol involving dogs.
- Training Medical Detection Dogs to detect COVID-19. Medical Detection Dogs is a British registered charity researching into dogs’ ability to detect the smell of human diseases. The Foundation is supporting a project to establish whether COVID-19 has an odor that dogs can be trained to identify. There is also a second aim to deploy medical detection dogs in ports of entry and public space, to provide rapid, non- invasive screening for COVID-19.
- Dogs in training communication skills for children with autism. In Poland, the Po To Jestem association specializes in training dogs for animal assisted therapy and to be guide dogs. The association, with support from the Foundation, will allow to create a facility for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder where children can feel safe. Each week, 20 more children with autism will be able to work with trained dogs and acquire non-verbal communication skills.
The launch of the Foundation is a concrete proof of Royal Canin’s commitment to being a purpose-led organization. What matters is just how much cats and dogs make the world a better place.