In Russia, people with Down Syndrome are rejected. People believe they are unable to work, so in the entire country only four people with Down Syndrome are employed. Pedigree wanted to change that and change perceptions of people with Down Syndrome. So they trained a bunch of people to train dogs. Because unlike humans, dogs don't have the same sort of prejudice.

During the project ‘pUp syndrome’ 5 participants were visiting the Dog Training Centre and the hotel for dogs – a place where animals are in need of special attention and care because they are away from their owners. Young people learned how to work, to be independent and responsible caring for the animals. Dogs helped them to become more self-reliant and executive. It became the First Professional Adaptation Programme for people with Down syndrome in Russia.

Mars, Pedigree's parent company, is taking it one step further. They have committed to hiring five people with down syndrome to work in a new dog center in the Ulyanovsk region, of Russia, which will open in 2017.

Very moving piece.

Mars Russia Portfolio Director, Dog Care MARS Petcare Russia – Sergey Kesoyan Senior Brand Manager Pedigree, Marketing MARS Petcare – Maria Suchkova The charitable fund “DownsideUp” Development Director – Irina Menshenina Project Manager – Yulia Goncharova BBDO Moscow Managing Director – Natalia Tsyganova Creative Director – Alexey Fedorov Creative Group Head – Ekaterina Savrasova Senior Copywriter – Natalia Sytnik Digital Creative Group Head – Victor Gribanov Senior Digital Producer – Yuriy Marin TV Production Director – Boris Anisonyan Senior Producer – Yana Ageeva Junior Producer – Anna Chernaya Music Producer – Dmitriy Rubezhov Director TV Production Studio – Kirill Kulygin Senior TV studio manager – Andrey Belov Group Account Director – Elena Vorobyova Account Director – Natalya Dzhafarova Account Supervisor – Anastasia Babuchenko Creative production company – Bureau Working Title Director – Taisia Reshetnikova DOP – Alexandra Ivanova Executive producer – Elena Vlasova Line producer – Tatyana Finaeva Production designer – Ruslana Osmanova Producer assistant – Ksenia Tsvetkova Editor – Kirill Khandurin Music composer – Oleg Karpachev PR Agency Mint (BBDO Group) Managing Director – Viacheslav Tikhomirov Client Services Director – Anastasiya Pogorelova Senior Project Manager – Kseniya Kuznetsova Project Manager – Maria Kirienko