Letter from CAIRC
June 2003 Vol.7 No.1

Moving into its third year,
the CAIRC website gets even better with new site map!

The highly praised CAIRC website (www.cairc.org) begins its third year of operation in June, and its content has been improved to even greater levels. Most recently, we have added a site map that will make the site even easier for visitors to use. As our society is increasingly data driven, people are relying more and more on the Internet for important information. We invite visitors to make full use of the site map in order to obtain necessary information quickly.

Pet-friendly real estate and property management companies list lengthened to 130
Research projects sponsored for the study of human-animal relationships scholarship up to 23

The content of the CAIRC website centers on themes related to the organization’s activities. One of the most popular of these concerns pets in collective housing situations. The website provides information such as the kinds of rules that improve life with pets in collective housings and apartments and other know-how. Many visitors take advantage of content such as the CAIRC handbook “Living with Dogs and Cats in Collective Housing”, which can be downloaded free at the site. Analyzing the download figures, visitors who download the textbook are overwhelmingly concentrated in Tokyo, with 20%-30% of downloads being initiated from the capital. During the first year, 40% of downloads were initiated from the Tokyo metropolitan area, and the following year, the percentage was more than half of all downloads. Downloads to website visitors located in Osaka remained at 10%, while major urban centers in districts such as Aichi, Hyogo, Hiroshima, Niigata, Fukuoka and Miyagi prefectures occupied the top-ten ranking of the most numerous download locations. Results also showed that downloads were sought from every district in the country except Wakayama prefecture. This can be taken as an indication that this subject, which is of particular interest to city dwellers, is attracting nationwide attention.

Another popular item is our regional listing of “pet-friendly real estate and property management companies” where pets are allowed. The list has been available at the site since summer of last year. For pet owners, who are moving for reasons such as a change of job, find it difficult to encounter with pet-allowed collective houses. The site enables visitors to conduct easy searches for pet-friendly real estate and management companies near destinations in any of Japan’s 11 geographic regions: Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Shinetsu, Hokuriku, Tokai, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa. Nearly 130 companies are currently listed. Since 1998, CAIRC has been conducting its Scholarship Program for advancing the study of relationships between humans and companion animals, supporting researchers that form the vanguard of advancements in the field. And the science of relationships between humans and animals is a major topic on the website. This information includes all CAIRC scholarship-sponsored researches on human-companion animal relationships, in fields as diverse as veterinary science, animal behavior, sociology, psychology, medicine, genetics, and others.

In addition, the site also includes a wealth of material for visitors’ reading enjoyment, such as the well-received “Dr. Shoda’s Story of Animals,” an essay on interacting with animals by CAIRC Chairman, Dr. Yoichi Shoda(Only available in Japanese language).

Download statistics for the CAIRC handbook on pets in collective housing shows major interest in the subject

As the Internet environment improves year by year, the number of people who gather information there is growing apace. Downloads of the CAIRC handbook Know-How on Living with Pets in Collective Housing are constantly increasing, and a look at the statistical breakdown shows that property owners and managers wishing to allow residents to keep pets are increasingly seeking this information. During the website’s first year, 40% of those people downloading were ordinary pet owners, while 25% of those seeking the information were in property management-related fields. The latter percentage grew to more than 40% the following year. Entering 2003, while ordinary pet owners and housing industry workers each represent 25% of downloads, 35% now belong to property management associations and pet-club members, indicating slight shifts in these ratios. Another trend is a shift in the purposes for which the information is to be used. Fewer visitors reply that they want the download for vague reasons such as “information on keeping pets in collective housing,” and more cite specific purposes for which the information is to be put to use, such as “revising bylaws,” “establishing a pet club,” and “improving pet-related courtesy.”

As the beneficial effects of pet ownership and the bond between pets and humans attract more attention, an increasing number of visitors are expressing curiosity in the study of human-animal relationships. The name recognition of the CAIRC website is growing steadily, as indicated by the constant increase in volume of downloaded information, and the e-mails sent to the site. In order to answer the diverse needs of our visitors, CAIRC will continue to do our utmost to keep improving the website content.