Shimane-Asahi Training Center:Japan Guide Dog Association

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Shimane-Asahi Training Center

This training center conducts the "Shimane Asahi Puppy Project", which is the first project in Japan in which prisoners and local volunteers work collaboratively to raise puppies that are candidates for guide dogs. This project is conducted with a cooperation of the JGDA and the PFI Project of the Ministry of Justice. For the guide dog movement, this is a revolutionary project that enables prisoners to cover the shortage of puppy walkers and eventually it will help to increase the number of raised guide dogs.

A peculiarity of this project is that two "families" exist for each puppy. Puppies are raised in the Rehabilitation Program Center from Monday through Friday and spend weekend, from Friday afternoon, at the homes of Weekend Pappy Walkers (hereinafter "WPW"). While they are growing up, puppies receive lots of love from two "families" that are separated by a wall. Unexpectedly, despite the barriers, there "families have developed special bonds with each other over a small puppy.

This center conducts educational activities to promote understanding of guide dogs and of visual impairment. Furthermore, it conducts activities for people with a visual impairment to facilitate their full participation in society, such as guide dog demonstrations at event sites, fundraising campaigns and school visits in various regions called "School Caravan."

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