International Therapy Dog Association 国際セラピードッグ協会ロゴ

Association
Information

About Our Founder and Chairman

Toru Oki

Musician. Founder and Chairman of International Therapy Dog Association (ITDA) and founder of Oki hadAnimal Welfare Association. Visiting Professor at Hirosaki University, representative of United Therapy Japan INC, scholar of social welfare(US/Japan), chairman of Higashi Nihon Hisaiken Protection Plaza.
Toru Oki was born in Ningyocho, Tokyo. He traveled to the US in 1976 and since then spends his time between the US and Japan. As the only Asian blues singer in the US music industry, he had successful tours across the US, and globally active overcoming racial barriers.
As a general producer, Oki was responsible for bring up many major artists, and has long acted as a bridge between the black music scenes in the US and Japan, and is respectfully known as “Mr.Yellow Blues”.
On the other hand, as an animal welfare activist, Oki has contributed to the friendship and goodwill between the US and Japan. He has spent the last 38 years as the pioneer of therapy dog training while saving stray dogs and hisaiken (dogs left behind after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami) before they were put down, and working to spread the recognition for animal assisted therapy. He has provided therapy dog services at disabled people’s facilities, nursing homes, hospitals and educational institutions, and at many facilities in both the US and Japan has achieved successful results. Oki has also devised the therapy dog training curriculum.
Publications/CD

Only Japanese versions available at the moment.
『チロリ』(トゥーヴァージンズ 2016年)
『伝説のイエロー・ブルース』(トゥーヴァージンズ 2016年)
『チロリのまなざし 奇跡をおこすセラピードッグ』(リーブル出版 2014年) 
『がんばれ! 名犬チロリ』児童推薦指定図書・全国読書感想文指定図書 (岩崎書店 2014年)
『わが心の犬たち』(三一書房 2013年)
more… ▼

To see Association related publications
To see Toru Oki’s music website (only Japanese versions available at the moment)
To see Oki Animal Welfare Association website

Message From The Chairman

Based on the principle of animal welfare, International Therapy Dog Association (ITDA) endeavors to realize a society where there is “zero culling” by reducing the number of disowned dogs, or for those who have unfortunately lost their owners, to train them as therapy dogs so they can contribute to the welfare of the society.

I recall the first time I saw the marvelous therapy dogs in action at medical facilities back in 1976 when I first came to the US on my own, and became aware of the terrible fate (of being put down) that awaited the stray dogs at that time in my homeland, Japan.
From when I was just a little boy, I myself have experienced being saved in many ways time and time again by the dogs that supported me with their selfless and devoted affection. Since then, I have made it my life time work to introduce and spread “therapy dogs” in Japan, and to save dogs who have such wonderful powers from being put down.

…All living things have the right to be happy.

Today in the Japanese society, the number of elderly people is increasing each year,society and human relationships are becoming more complicated and putting more stress on people. With this though of Chirori, the stray dog that became the first therapy dog in Japan, engraved in my heart, I truly believe the activities of the therapy dogs are needed by many people, and such activities will create a deep and happy bonding in the coexistence between humans and dogs, that saving the dogs will also bring happiness to the humans.

What We Do

At International Therapy Dog Association (ITDA), based on the principle of animal welfare, we rescue dogs before they are put down at the dog pounds or shelters. These may be strays or other dogs that have no owners for various reasons, such as due to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. We take them in, train them as therapy dogs, and by doing so try to realize a society where there is “zero culling”. These dogs start their new life as therapy dogs, and by making social contributions we hope to achieve a society where dogs and humans can coexist.
Rescued strays and dogs from the disaster area
Rescued strays and dogs from the disaster area
International Therapy Dog Association

Animal Welfare

Saving lives: To achieve “zero culling”

In the present world where people have various anxieties, they need the warmth and the unconditional affection that dogs can give them. But on the other hand, in contrast to the ever growing demand for pets, tens of thousands of dogs and cats are being put down each year.

In an effort to achieve “zero culling” of dogs, ITDA takes in stray dogs that are ear marked to be put down or dogs left behind in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster area from welfare centers and pounds across Japan, and train them to become therapy dogs.

  • Collars of the dogs that were put down
    Collars of the dogs that were put down
  • Rescuing the stray dogs
    Rescuing the stray dogs

save the last lives

Rescuing the abandoned dogs of Fukushima
Case of Kinji and Ginji
  • Last minute rescue from the gas chamber
    Last minute rescue from the gas chamber
  • Decontamination process
    Decontamination process
  • After screening, dogs are cared for until they
recover their health.
    After screening, dogs are cared for until they recover their health.
  • Working as a therapy dog
    Working as a therapy dog. Walking at the same speed next to an elderly woman in wheel chair.
Case of Fuku
  • Born a feral. Photo taken right after being
rescued.
    Born a feral. Photo taken right after being rescued.
  • Present photo after regaining health.
    Present photo after regaining health.
  • Accompanying a person with walking difficulties during his rehabilitation.
    Accompanying a person with walking difficulties during his rehabilitation.

Animal Assisted Therapy

To See Your Smile: Towards a “society where humans and dogs coexist”

At ITDA, we rescue dogs that have lost their owners for various reasons (strays dogs, dogs from disaster areas) before they are put down, train them to become therapy dogs,and have them participate in animal assisted therapy.
Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a type of therapy that involves animals as a form of treatment. AAT has over 60 years of history in the US and has had many successful results at medical facilities, nursing homes and orphanages. Trained dogs (therapy dogs) face each patient’s mental and physical situation together with the patient,staying with them during the difficult rehabilitation and assist them in improving the patient’s mental and physical functions. It may sometimes be confused with Animal Assisted Activity (AAA). Animal Assisted Activity is more focused on enjoying the presence of the animal and improving the quality of life.

Therapy Dog Training

At ITDA, we give therapy dog training so that more people can benefit from therapy dog treatments.
We also provide “therapy dog training programs” for dog owners who wish to have their dogs trained as therapy dogs and participate together in therapy dog activities.

Spreading Knowledge and Understanding about Therapy Dogs

In order to have more people know and understand about ITDA’s activities and therapy dogs, we make visits to disabled people’s facilities, nursing homes, hospitals and schools all over Japan. We participate in lectures, conferences and events aimed at promoting animal welfare. We also regularly hold various events at our Headquarter.

  • The University of Tokyo Hospital

  • Cancer Institute Hospital

  • Universities and Educational Institution across Japan

  • Universities and Educational Institution across Japan

  • As part of cultivation of artistic sentiments for small children

Association Related Publication

ITDA Publications by Toru Oki
(Only available in Japanese)

  • img_book01チロリ(絵本)
    トゥーヴァージンズ出版
     
  • img_book02チロリのまなざし(写真絵本)
    リーブル出版
     
  • img_book03教育児童指定書
    名犬チロリ(書籍)
    岩崎書店 出版
  • img_book04風になった名犬チロリ
    (書籍)
    岩崎書店 出版
     
  • img_book05がんばれ!名犬チロリ
    (児童書)
    岩崎書店
     
  • img_book06わがこころの犬たち(書籍)
    三一書房 出版
     
  • img_book07いのちをつなぐ(書籍)
    岩崎書店 出版
     
  • img_book08名犬チロリ(書籍)
    マガジンハウス 出版
     
  • img_book09セラピードッグの世界
    (書籍)
    日本経済新聞出版社 出版
  • img_book10写真集 アイコンタクト
    バットコーポレーション 出版
     
  • img_book11ドッグロード Vol.1,2
    (コミック)
    秋田書店 出版
  • img_book13キラ星たちのレクイエム
    誠文堂新光社 出版
     
  • img_book14名犬チロリ 記念写真切手
    郵政省 出版
     
  • img_book15スペシャルオリンピックス
    冬季世界大会 ピンバッチ
     
  • img_book16名犬チロリ ピンバッチ