Dogs and cats help heal COVID-19 loneliness in Japan

Japan Times -- Oct 31
Animal therapy, designed to heal people through contact with animals, is spreading in Japan amid the COVID-19 crisis.

A university in Tokyo has hosted a session to introduce therapy dogs to students and alleviate their loneliness attributed to the prolonged novel coronavirus crisis, while facilities for disabled people are developing environments that allow residents to live with animals.

The Japanese Animal Hospital Association (JAHA), a public interest incorporated association in Tokyo, has been dispatching therapy dogs since 1986. It dispatches such animals around 1,000 times annually.

The therapy pet services can be so popular, JAHA mentions, that sometimes they don’t have enough animals and volunteers to dispatch.

The Environment Ministry is also paying close attention to animal therapy initiatives as they may have a key role is reducing the number of animals being culled in Japan.