CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITYContribution to Society

Support of Promotional Activities of Assistance Dogs for the Physically Disabled

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In order to fulfill our mission statement of enhancing the value of animals, and contribute to social well-being, ZENOAQ actively supports promotional activities of assistance dogs for the physically disabled. With the enforcement of “The Act on Assistance Dogs for Physically Disabled Persons” in Japan in 2002, legal recognition has further confirmed the importance of assistance dogs in our society. Although this has allowed more promotional opportunities via mass media to increase public awareness, our society still severely lacks civic-mindedness, which is why a lot of work still has to be done to create a society that is assistance dogs and physically disabled friendly. In cooperation with the Japanese Service Dog Resource Center (JSDRC), ZENOAQ has prioritized these issues so that continuous effort can be made to support this cause.

Education of Professionals and ZENOAQ Scholarship (2002 to 2003)

The first issue that had to be addressed was the cultivation of the right talents that can support related assistance dog activities. Even though there are many professionals in the respective field of human medicine/ welfare/ nursing care and veterinary medicine, there are only a handful of those who have the knowledge, skill and experience from both the human and veterinary worlds. Therefore, training of professionals who bear knowledge and skills in fields including animal behavior, human-animal relationships, public health and veterinary medicine, and those who can fulfill a leading role in rehabilitation medicine became a top priority for us. In order to solve this issue, JSDRC has made effort to plan and implement long-term training programs targeting occupational and physical therapists with the aim of producing assistance dog trainers in the US and Japan. This effort has yielded great success. ZENOAQ has set up a scholarship fund (called the ZENOAQ Scholarship) to support this training program.

Support of the Establishment and Management of the Japanese Society of Service Dog Research (since 2004)

The next issue that followed was research related to assistance dogs. Breeding, aptitude testing, problematic diseases, training methods and rehabilitation science of assistance dogs, including their training and use involves a continuous process of trial and error. Besides that, presentation of academic research was necessary as a platform of information sharing for the promotion and development of assistance dogs, including topics on animal welfare, legislation and improvement of related facilities. The world’s first society of assistance dog research, the Japanese Society of Service Dog Research, was established in 2005. ZENOAQ has actively supported related scientific symposium in 2004, besides direct contributions to the establishment of the society. At present, ZENOAQ still supports the society as a sponsor.

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Scientific symposium

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Scientific meeting

Supportive Activities for the Acquirement, Nurturing and Breeding of Superior Breeding Dogs (since 2005)

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A breeding dog named Belle nursing her puppies

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Belle and her grown-up puppies

Since actions related to legislation, scientific information exchange and professional recruitment have been taken, this leaves us with the core issue related to assistance dogs, the dogs themselves. Even though there remains an imbalance between the demand and supply of assistance dogs, breeding dogs have to be acquired and breeding programs carried out after careful planning with proper management so that the number of suitable healthy candidate dogs can be increased. Zenoaq fully supports projects related to the acquirement, nurturing and breeding of assistance dogs spearheaded by the Japan Support Dog Association.

Other Related Promotional Activities

In addition to the above mentioned activities, ZENOAQ has continued to make efforts to increase awareness and promote the different aspects of assistance dogs through demonstration of assistance dogs in cooperation with training groups at multiple events, signature drives during the enactment and modification of the assistance dog-related Act, product donations to training groups and many other events. In May 2009, the construction of Japan’s first multipurpose training center for assistance dogs in Nagakute City, Aichi Prefecture called Cynthia's Hill, was completed. ZENOAQ has supported a part of the construction expenses.

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Demonstration during an event (UD Fair)

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Cynthia's Hill- Japan’s first multipurpose training center for assistance dogs

Please visit the Japanese Service Dog Resource Center (JSDRC) homepage for more information.