Virbac Foundation

Created in 1993, the Virbac Foundation has evolved over time to meet the needs of each era, while maintaining its core mission: the animal-human bond.

For almost ten years, the Virbac Foundation supported actions aimed at developing animal health knowledge and awarding grants for research programs. Over the following decade, it worked to raise public awareness of animal health: surveys in partnership with veterinary schools, competitions among elementary schools, town hall trophies, and so on. Finally, the Foundation supported One Health programs in Zimbabwe, improving the health conditions of local animal and human populations, and worked to deploy a rabies-related program in India, which unfortunately felt the effects of  the Covid-19 pandemic.

A new direction

Today, the Virbac Foundation is focusing its activities on animal-assisted therapy, mainly with children and teenagers.

This orientation sets three main objectives: 

• support medical institutions and associations involved in animal-assisted therapy, more specifically located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region;
• support and stimulate scientific research on animal-assisted therapy;
• more generally, encourage the development and recognition of the therapeutic value of animal-assisted therapy by the scientific community, which is essential to its development.

Our first actions

Fondation Virbac 2.jpg• Support for the French association for animal-assisted therapy (AFTAA) in setting up a branch in the French Riviera (the main player in the field of animal-assisted therapy, with over 15 therapists and as many dogs in France)
• Launch a call for projects to support health institutions based in our home region, the French Riviera, taking care of disabled children and teenagers and wanting to set up animal assisted initiatives.
• Collaboration with the Lenval Foundation to conduct a scientific study directed at better understanding the mechanisms of animal-assisted therapy, as well as the benefits for both the beneficiaries and the animal.
• Release of a best practice guide for the implementation of animal-assisted therapy for establishments catering to children with disabilities.

What is animal mediation? 

Fondation Virbac 1.jpgAnimal mediation is highly diversified, and can be preventive, educational or therapeutic, involving a qualified professional, his or her animal and a beneficiary. This generic term covers a large range of practices: zootherapy, animal pedagogical support, animal-assisted therapy...

This practice harmonizes emotions, behaviors and rhythms between living beings, generating positive interactions for both humans and animals. This is a fast-growing approach to helping people in need (disabilities, post-traumatic stress, autism spectrum disorders...), both in medical-social establishments and in prisons, courts, schools...

Recognized as a non-medicinal therapy by the French national authority for health, animal-assisted therapy aims to promote improvement in a patient's physical, cognitive, social, psychic or emotional capacities, with the animal playing the role of mediator. Directed by a healthcare professional, AAT interventions involve planned therapeutic objectives, and their benefits are evaluated as for any other therapeutic approach.

Call for projects

Virbac Foundation is seeking involvement with projects that support animal - human initiatives in animal mediation. If you are an organization on the Côte d'Azur catering to disabled children and teenagers and would like to tell us about an animal mediation project, please share your proposal with us at Upon receiving your proposal, you will receive an application form to complete and return via email.

Thank you for supporting the Virbac Foundation and our continued mission: the animal-human bond.

Our team


Marie-Hélène Dick 
president - veterinarian 


Hélène Létard
veterinary advisor


Catherine Ereau
project coordinator


Eline Madelpuech
medical advisor


Philippe Mähl
scientific expert - PhD


Sylvie Bonneyrat
France consultant