Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"

by NPO Japan Animal Therapy Association
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Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Stray Dogs become "Therapy Dogs"
Ace(right front),Bal, Minne,Okumura,staff of JATA
Ace(right front),Bal, Minne,Okumura,staff of JATA

Hello.
Thank you for your continuous warm support for JATA's “Stray Dogs become therapy dogs” project.

Last time we introduced Ace, one of our Kangal-mix-dogs. Since this is a sequel, we will continue our report on him.
If you would like to read about his background, please see the previous report.

Fuji no Sato in Mishima in Shizuoka Prefecture, where Ace lives, is located on a hill overlooking the symbol of Japan, Mt. Fuji. Recently, plum blossoms have begun to bloom, making us feel the arrival of spring.

Ace will be seven years old in April this year, but he is as energetic as other younger dogs. However, having a weight of over 50 kg and strength, but with a slightly timid personality, there are still many challenges for him in building relationships with other dogs.
To overcome these challenges, our staff is trying hard every day.
This time, we would like to introduce some of the challenges we are tackling.

Challenge 1 "Becoming friends with other dogs"

This is the biggest challenge for Ace; he can get along with his parents and siblings, but sometimes he can get aggressive to others. One of the causes for a dog to be aggressive can be explained by a defensive reaction to protect itself. But it is also important that the diet, the amount of exercise, and the living environment are fully satisfied. Until recently, we had let him move freely in the outdoor plaza, but now we are trying to get him used to various stimuli by taking a walk with a leash and giving him the opportunity to meet other dogs and get used to cars passing by. He eats two meals a day and spends a relaxing time in a calm room where he can sleep comfortably on bed.

We are trying build the relationships with Ace and other dogs step by step, by choosing relatively calm dogs and putting on muzzles just in case, and letting them spend time with each other. There are still times when he gets aggressive, but even so, it is becoming possible for the Ace to regain his composure and follow our command.

Challenge 2 "Getting used to changes in the environment"

Ace has been living in the dog farm Fuji no Sato since he was born.
For Ace, going out of that place, even for a small walk, was a new challenge. However, nowadays, we take him outside every day, and even sometimes out of the prefecture.
He got used to traveling by car and can stay calm without getting motion sickness.
We have also begun to visit tourist destinations, take a walk there, and explore the city. Since Ace is a super large dog, he is an eye-catcher to many people. It’s a funny story, but some people first think that Ace is a bear, not a dog.
Usually when a dog is placed in an unfamiliar environment, they can be restless, lose appetite, and become ill. At first, Ace seemed uncomfortable, but as the days went by, he got used to it, and now he can spend his time relaxed. While gradually expanding the range of activities, we will continue to do our best to maintain harmony with many people and dogs.

Challenge 3 "Performing animal therapy activities"

JATA conducts animal therapy activities more than 400 times a year, mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan areas. There are a wide variety of activities such as facilities for the elderly, facilities for the disabled, hospitals, and schools.
A specially trained therapy dog and a dog handler, or an animal therapist, will work together to create a relaxing place where people can interact with the dogs, soothing bringing positive energy. .
Ace has also started therapy activities little by little as a therapy dog trainee. The current place of activity is in front of the train station where many people pass by. Activities in front of the station is an important training opportunity for dogs, since there are many stimuli, such as the sounds of trains and cars running, people passing by and dogs taking a walk. It is important for dogs to get used to this environment, because when visiting facilities, dogs need to be calm and in harmony with many different people and noise.
Although at first Ace seemed to be uncomfortable, the repetition of the activity made him used to the environment. Now during this activity, he is very friendly and even approaches to people to get strokes. He even lies down showing his belly and is popular amongst young children that touch his large body and smile.
Many people are healed by Ace's gentle eyes and dignified behavior.

As the existence of handlers (animal therapists) who work together is also very important, we will continue to build relationships of trust with Ace, so that he can think that the time he spends with the handler is fulfilling than anything else.

So, these were the challenges of Ace.
Our staff is encouraged by the fact that the dogs who have never left Fuji no Sato are getting familiar to other environments and people. We will continue to fully support Ace’s growth, and we strongly hope that he is truly happy!

Thank you for your continued support.

 

NPO Japan Animal Therapy Association

Social planner

TAKASHI OKUMURA

Profile
http://animal-t.or.jp/html/examination/animaltherapist-examination/to/01.html

https://japananimaltherapyassociation.wordpress.com/

Ace enjoy walking in the city.
Ace enjoy walking in the city.
Donation activities in front of the station.
Donation activities in front of the station.
Ace that relaxes and interacts with children.
Ace that relaxes and interacts with children.
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Ace (left), Bal (top), Mine (right)
Ace (left), Bal (top), Mine (right)

Hello.
Thank you for your continued support of JATA's “Stray Dogs become therapy dogs” project.

We were able to receive many support for the reconstruction project of the dog farm "Fuji no Sato" which we had reported last time.
We sincerely appreciate your help.

"Fuji no Sato" is located at a place overlooking Mt. Fuji, where the air is fresh, and water is clear. Recently, the gentle autumn breeze has been making it is easier for our dogs to spend time there. We will continue to make efforts to create an environment where dogs can spend time comfortably.

For today’s report, we would like to introduce "Ace", our Kangal-mix, who is currently working hard every day to become a therapy dog.

Ace is a 6 years-old male dog. His mother is "Bal", a Turkish Kangal Dog and his father is "Boss", a German Shepherd.

Ace weighs about 50 kg, large and looks a little like a wild wolf.
As he was born and raised in Fuji no Sato, he does not really know about the rest of the world. He is now steadily growing and being trained to become a therapy dog.

So why did we decide to take him up in this report?

The reason is because he used to be a very lonely dog.
The environment in which he grew up had great influence on his personality, and he couldn't harmonize well with other dogs.

Though his mother Bal, who was protected in Turkey and brought to Japan, is a very kind and friendly dog and actively visits facilities for the elderly. She can interact with many people and dogs in a friendly manner.
So inheriting the blood of Bal, Ace was expected to play an active role as an excellent therapy dog. It was strange that he was the most problematic of his eight siblings and couldn't play with anyone.

He spent more time in cages because he fights with other dogs. And even when he was let out, he had to be tied with a leash. He did not have freedom for a long time.

One of the staff who took care of him at the time, said Ace is scary, glares and can be aggressive to people, so we need to be careful and never take his leash off.

As the days went by, that staff left JATA, and we started a project to radically change the living environment of the dogs in Fuji no Sato.

Mainly for the past year, we aimed to not only improves the living environment of dogs, but also to make improvements in how we take care and interact with dogs.

Regarding the dog's temperament and personality, we thought that prejudging "this dog had a fight before and should not be put out with other dogs" may narrow our view. So we decided to face the dogs and build a relationship of trust from the start once again.

We started by investigating the cause of why Ace had a fight and couldn't get along with other dogs. When we thought about it, Ace had been alone since childhood and it was quite normal that he didn’t know how to communicate with other dogs. He didn’t know how to keep his distance, or how to make friends.

It wasn’t just a problem about violence, but rather related to his personality of being timid and not used to interacting with other dogs. We began to understand that because of being lonely, he took defensive reactions such as barking or biting. When he was born, he was the smallest of his siblings, but surprisingly he became the biggest and the strongest. It seemed as he was aware of that strength.

In order to fill his timid heart, we prioritized building relationships of trust between him and humans, and then gradually increased the time he spent with other dogs.
We played and spent time together and accumulated these positive experiences within Ace.

After a while, it was obvious that his facial expressions and gestures had become brighter.

This summer, a staff member who worked in the past met with Ace for the first time in four years. The staff was amazed at Ace's gentle eyes and facial expressions. Those fearful eyes had completely disappeared, and he had grown into a friendly dog that would immediately rub his body to humans.

Though Ace is still at a stage of growth. He is still making steady progress so that he can get along with other dogs.

We want to let him do things that he had never done before, slowly and without rushing, and above all, we want him to grow up to be a strong but gentle dog.

We will continue to report on the growth record of Ace.
We would be grateful if you could support us!

Non Profit Organization
Japan Animal Therapy Association
Social planner
TAKASHI OKUMURA

Profile
http://animal-t.or.jp/html/examination/animaltherapist-examination/to/01.html

https://japananimaltherapyassociation.wordpress.com/

Johann (right), Tilki (center front)
Johann (right), Tilki (center front)
Helios (left), Jasper (right)
Helios (left), Jasper (right)
Ace and staff Okumura
Ace and staff Okumura
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Johann, a former street dog from Turkey
Johann, a former street dog from Turkey

Hello.
Thank you for your warm support for JATA's "Stray Dogs become therapy dogs" project.
Continuing from the last issue, we will be reporting about Fuji no Sato, a dog farm where many therapy dogs live.

We are raising emergency relief funds to help improve the living conditions for the dogs at Fuji no Sato.
In this report, we will tell you why we decided to ask for emergency funds at this time. We would like to explain in more detail what is going on here.

Fuji No Sato is the place where Johann, one of the main active dogs at JATA who used to be a street-dog became a therapy dog, as well as Bal and Tilki. This place is now facing a time of change.
We believe that making our challenges known to as many people as possible will contribute to the spread of our animal therapy activities.

At present, there are about 30 dogs living in Fuji no Sato, including active and retired therapy dogs. With 90% of the dogs being large-sized dogs, the ranch has a spacious living space and dogs can run around freely. Fuji no Sato is in Mishima City, Shizuoka Prefecture. It is located at a place where the water is clean, air is fresh, and where a beautiful view of Mount Fuji can be observed. Here, visitors can play and interact with many therapy dogs to the fullest.

Fuji no Sato is blessed with such a privileged location, but in recent years, due to various natural disasters and aging facilities, the kennels which the dogs have been in, and the fences of the ranch are decaying and are in an ugly state.

In addition, former staff members who were trusted to manage the dogs have dumped the donated kennels without taking care of them, neglected care of dogs leaving them with uncommonly thick hairballs, overlooked tumors and other animal handling tasks.

Unfortunately, some of the former staff have been behaving in these ways that are inhumane, and it has become necessary to reform both the hardware and software side of Fuji no Sato.

Amid the calls for fundamental reform, coupled with the impact of the new coronavirus that has shaken the world, our association’s main activity to visit elderly and disabled people's homes with therapy dogs have all been suspended.

Because we have lost our important source of income; including the donations we receive from the facilities, raising the necessary funds for the reform of Fuji-no-Sato has become difficult.

As like many companies have been affected by the coronavirus and have been forced to go bankrupt, our non-profit organization is in a tight spot as well. Some of our staff has retired, and we are taking care of the dogs with the limited few staff members we have left.
Now that we no longer provide animal therapy services, the therapy dogs have lost their jobs, and they are spending their whole time in their kennels. This means the dogs are under great stress.

Our challenge this time is to make sure that the dogs maintain their standard of living through emergency relief fundraising. We hope to renovate the kennels and fences, so that we can provide a better place to heal for those who come back to see our therapy dogs as the coronavirus settles down, and also to create an environment where the dogs can live comfortably. We believe that seeing, touching, and enjoying the innocent smiles and behaviors of the dogs is an ideal form of animal therapy which we would like to offer.

"Johann", "Bal" and "Tirki" who had been former street dogs in Turkey, received lots of love and affection and became therapy dogs that brings back smiles to people.

We humans get a lot of healing from dogs. Not only dogs, but we also receive a lot of benefits from animals. The world is in a very difficult situation, but it is precisely because of this situation that we want to protect animals.

They cannot survive on their own, and that is why it is our responsibility to protect them.

We will use the funds we receive for food, vaccines, and other medical expenses for dogs, and repairing fees of kennels and open space renovations.

We look forward to your warm support. We promise we will protect the therapy dogs.

Non Profit Organization
Japan Animal Therapy Association
Social planner
TAKASHI OKUMURA

Profile
http://animal-t.or.jp/html/examination/animaltherapist-examination/to/01.html

https://japananimaltherapyassociation.wordpress.com/

Dogs relaxing
Dogs relaxing
The kennels and fences are quite dilapidated.
The kennels and fences are quite dilapidated.
The kennels and fences are quite dilapidated.
The kennels and fences are quite dilapidated.
The kennels and fences are quite dilapidated.
The kennels and fences are quite dilapidated.
The kennels and fences are quite dilapidated.
The kennels and fences are quite dilapidated.
Smiling Johann
Smiling Johann
Tilki with a smile back on his face
Tilki with a smile back on his face
Bottom left is Bal, surrounded by her children.
Bottom left is Bal, surrounded by her children.
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Fuji farm
Fuji farm

Thank you for your support and cooperation. I'm Eiko Kazama, the president.

Our association has around 100 dogs in total, including active therapy dogs, retired therapy dogs, future therapy dogs and rescued dogs. 50 dogs are living in Yamato, Kanagawa and another 50 dogs are in a farm (the village of Fuji) in Mishima, Shizuoka. More than half of them are large dogs, including super large dogs such as St. Bernard and Great Dane, and large dogs such as Golden Retriever and Borzoi and many more. So the amount of dog food consumed each day is considerable.

As you all know, One of the main sources of income of our NPO association is Animal therapy visits to the facility. However, due to the recent spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), about 60 animal therapy activities in March and April have all been canceled. For this reason, there is no payment from the facilities in March, and our NPO that takes care of a large number of dogs, including abandoned dogs from Turkey, is currently in a very difficult situation of funding. Since March is usually the most active month of the year, our organization is very confused and damaged by this unexpected event.

Although it has been a warm winter in Japan this year, the Fuji farm at the foot of Fuji is still very cold. The dogs spending outside increase their appetite more, and so we want to provide them more food to strengthen them to survive the cold winter.

We also conduct fundraising activities (as Awareness raising activities in front of the station). However because of the pandemic, compared to before, there are many people who do not stay for long to hear what we say, there are only few that stops and donates, the number of employee staffs is limited, and it is difficult to increase it further because it places a burden on dogs. 

I am very sorry,
We have a sincere request.
Even a little is fine.
To save the lives of our 100 therapy dogs,
Would you please donate?

Of course, starting with me, all the volunteer staff intend to get over this difficult situation as much as we can, but we still need your support and cooperation.

Thank you very much.
Thank you for reading.

Sincerely yours.
29.February 2020

Non Profit Organization
Japan Animal Therapy Association
Director
Eiko Kazama

profile
http://animal-t.or.jp/html/association-overview/chairman/01.html

http://animal-t.or.jp/

Healing Salon for human&dogs
Healing Salon for human&dogs
Jasper at facility
Jasper at facility
Jasper&Helios
Jasper&Helios
Johann
Johann
Johann and daughters
Johann and daughters
Kangal mix dogs
Kangal mix dogs
Vanilla & Dark
Vanilla & Dark
Moon&Luce
Moon&Luce
Jasper during therapy activity
Jasper during therapy activity
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Dog's farm" Village of Fuji"
Dog's farm" Village of Fuji"

Hello!
Thank you as always for your warm support for JATA’s “Stray Dogs become therapy dogs“ project. This time we introduce you our facility, “Village of Fuji”.

“Village of Fuji” is located in Mishima-city, Shizuoka prefecture at the foot of Japan’s most famous mountain, Mt. Fuji. It is approximately two hours from Kanagawa prefecture where JATA’s headquarters is located. In “Village of Fuji”, dogs live freely and easily in a vast area of approximately 2,000m2. In the summer, they enjoy bathing in the swimming pool for dogs.

Kanagawa headquarters is located in the downtown and dogs are living indoors. Though the room temperature is controlled and it is comfortable as the risk of infection caused by insects is mitigated, dogs cannot run as much as they want given a limited space. For the purpose of mental and physical care for dogs, we periodically rotate dogs between headquarters and “Village of Fuji”. Like humans, a therapy dog can heal people only if it is healthy both physically and mentally.

More than 40 large dogs are living together in “Village of Fuji”. We carry out animal therapy that allows you to contact with dogs indoors and outdoors. Dogs that were once wild dogs are also active as therapy dogs. All dogs welcome anybody friendly. People who visit “Village of Fuji” feel open-minded in an environment where a magnificent view of Mt. Fuji can be seen and play with large dogs running freely around them. They go back to cities with smiles after being mentally and physically refreshed,

Frequent visitors to a salon in Kanagawa prefecture where they can contact with therapy dogs called “Healing Salon for Human and Dogs” come all the way to “Village of Fuji” to see therapy dogs who moved there in rotation. They are happy to reunite and so are dogs.

Johan who used to be a stray dog provided therapy to many people at “Healing Salon for Human and Dogs” and currently does his job in “Village of Fuji”. There are many people who support Johan. Johan has gone to the far away "Village of Fuji", and the supporters living in the city miss him without being able to meet Johan. Having said that, they say if Johan is happy in a place he loves, they would also feel happy and strive. And they often come to see Johan.

In addition, “Village of Fuji” is an important place to train puppies to be therapy dogs. While it is certainly important for puppies to contact with many people in a period when they learn to adapt to society, it is also equivalently important to learn about dog society. In “Village of Fuji”, among various kinds of dogs from small ones to large ones, they learn skills to communicate with other dogs. Not only Johan, but also other therapy dogs who used to be stray dogs have educated many puppies. Puppies who were raised in “Village of Fuji” have grown to heal people as therapy dogs.

Facilities in “Village of Fuji” are aging. Two years ago, we set up a new kennel with donations from everyone. Thanks to everybody who supported, they are able to survive in winter and summer and spend their time comfortably. We would greatly appreciate your warm support.

Now a fence surrounding “Village of Fuji” is deteriorating. In addition, several typhoons damaged it. Though we manage to maintain it by repairing it every time it is damaged, it is a quick-fix solution. It needs to be rebuilt. Then it would be much appreciated if you could provide us with your warm support for our effort to create an environment in which therapy dogs in “Village of Fuji” can live comfortably.

Therapy Dog "Johan"
Therapy Dog "Johan"
Johan and his children
Johan and his children
Therapy Dog "Bal" (former stray dog in Turkey)
Therapy Dog "Bal" (former stray dog in Turkey)
Animal Assisted Therapy at nursing home
Animal Assisted Therapy at nursing home
comfortable dog house
comfortable dog house
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Organization Information

NPO Japan Animal Therapy Association

Location: Yamato-shi - Japan
Website:
Project Leader:
Japan Animal Therapy Association
Yamato-shi, Kanagaw-ken Japan
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