The Reunited Pet Cabin is a project that was created to provide the possibility for long term trauma patients recuperating in Hospital to see their pets. This initiative will also open the possibility of Pet Therapy to be introduced in Malta.
The Purina Reunited Pet Cabin Project came about after 15-year-old Jacob Cachia finally managed to meet with his family dog during his 5 months of hospitalisation. At the time he was recuperating after 2 bouts in ITU fighting for his life. After pleading with the hospital administration, permission was given to the Cachia family to take Jacob just outside the main entrance of the hospital. It was not the ideal place, but there was no other option. He had more chance of getting an infection from passers-by than from their dog, but the risk was well worth it seeing Jacob so content after months of not seeing his Yorkshire Terrier Peanut! It played a big part in his road to recovery.
In 2015, the family began to express their desire to establish a designated area at Mater Dei Hospital whereby patients can meet with their pet dogs. Whilst founding the group Survivors Malta, they worked closely with the various departments and were eventually given the go ahead to initiate the visitation of dogs inside a conservatory like structure to be built on the hospital grounds. With Jacob joining JCI Malta, an NGO of young active citizens, it became a priority for JCI Malta to push this project forward. Hence a collaboration was formed between Survivors Malta and JCI Malta to reach a wider crowd. For 4 years, both JCI Malta and Survivors Malta persevered to have this project completed.
Besides the crowdfunding campaign that was put together, several companies generously contributed to the completion of the project.
This project has been in the making for almost 5 years, but when the permits were actually issued in 2019, JCI Malta took the step of actually implementing it. Through collaboration with all 3 sectors of society the dream of a sick 15 year old boy has become a reality. The cabin will be launched in the next few months (launch was meant to be in March 2020 but has had to be postponed due to Covid-19)
Long Term Trauma patients will now have the possibility to see their pets in a safe and hygienic environment, after the blessing of their doctors and the certification of their pets having a clean bill of health. This will be done through a simple application form, which will then lead to an appointment that will allow for this meeting to take place. The Cabin will be administered by JCI Malta and another NGO Survivors Malta.
The project has allowed JCI Malta to run a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised closed to €15,000. Collaboration with multiple sponsors from the private sector has also been possible, with assistance that has been both monetary and in kind.
This project has opened up discussions with local Health authorities for the introduction of Pet Therapy in Malta, as the Pet Cabin has provided an adequate location where pets can be present on hospital grounds.
This project has also allowed collaboration with many different entities for JCI Malta. Fundraising events such as Music Marathons have open up new partnership opportunities for the organisation for the future.