• Kyodo

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A nonprofit organization is calling for funds to pay for the rearing and training of therapy dogs in Kyushu.

The Kanagawa-based Japan Animal Therapy Association has a branch in Fukuoka and currently provides nine dogs there. It aims to raise the number to 20 within six months.

There is increasing demand worldwide for dogs as therapy companions for mobility impaired, sick or elderly people.

JATA operates across much of Japan and even has branches in Italy, Turkey, Spain and the United States.

It has about 140 dogs listed nationwide, which can be sent wherever there is a need.

However, more than half of the dogs are based in Tokyo and Kanagawa prefectures. In a bid to address this, the organization in September launched a fundraising campaign to increase the number of service dogs it supports in the city of Fukuoka.

The group says it takes from six months to a year and between ¥500,000 and ¥800,000 to rear a dog.

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