This society established the Kansai Branch in Ashiya City, Hyogo Prefecture next to Osaka. On January 12, 2008, it will start the counseling service related to the hearing dog and recruits volunteers, etc. once a month.
The society has loaned a hearing dog, named Iko, for the first time to Yori Fukui (76) who lives in Amagasaki City in the prefecture. (see the photo on the link below)
The spokesperson of the society said, "We will train dog's promotion volunteers, and increase more hearing dogs for the Deaf in the future." Currently 18 hearing dogs are serving the Deaf nationwide according to the society.
Koi is a Shih Tzu dog, estimated to be 5 years old. She has been trained since October, 2007, and was recognized as a trained hearing dog for the Deaf. She has lived with Fukui since March 2008.
With the help from Iko, Fukui is now able to go out, takes the train, and dines out. She said, "I really enjoy being together with Iko. When she told me that the door signal rung for the first time, I was very happy."
Source: Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 9, 2008