Zentai Ladd – First Four-Legged Martial Arts Assistant Helps Change Lives
First Four-Legged Martial Arts Assistant Helps Change Lives
Canine Companion for Independence Facility Dog joins Zentai Martial Arts & Afterschool
Motivation and support comes in many different forms, including a cold nose and a warm heart. On Valentine’s Day Zentai Martial Arts & Afterschool welcomed its newest staff member, Canine Companion for Independence Facility Dog, Ladd III. Ladd is a two year-old Golden Retriever specially bred and trained by Canine Companions to use over 40 professional commands. Ladd will assist Master Allen & Ms Naomy DePena during their work with students with ranging abilities and in the community.
Zentai Martial Arts & After School is a personal development center for the whole family, that uses the Martial Arts as a tool for the Physical, Intelectual, Emotional, and Social development of their members. In the past three years Zentai has grown exponentially and now serves over 300 members at their locations in North Arlington and Clifton through martial arts & fitness classes, character development programs, summer camps, and afterschool program.
“We are always thinking outside the box, looking for ways to continue to improve our services, and bring innovative ways to service clients with a broad range of abilities” stated Master Allen, CEO and Chief Instructor at Zentai. “After a two year waiting period, numerous applications and an intense two weeks of professional training, we are so happy to finally be matched with such an amazing dog” added Master Allen.
Co-Owner Naomy DePena, who is also a special educator with more than 15 years of experience and Belleville Councilwoman stated: “Incorporating Ladd into our programs will change the way we serve students with special needs and the public in general. We are currently in the process of developing a martial arts curriculum revolving around using a canine as a support for students”
For over 40 years, Canine Companions for Independence provides highly trained assistance dogs to children, adults and veterans with disabilities by training and placing more than 6,300 assistance dogs with program graduates. The estimated cost of a highly trained Canine Companion facility dog like Ladd, and all follow up support is $50,000. However each facility dog is provided at no cost. Canine Companions depends on the support of tens of thousands of donors and volunteers to match our facility with an assistance dog like Ladd, entirely free of charge.
As the first service trained martial arts Canine Companion, Ladd is bravely paving the way for innovative adaptive learning.