Israel Dog Unit continues high-risk searches as new volunteers arrive from abroad

IDU continues operations responding to life-threatening emergencies and rapid deployment preparations to meet coronavirus challenges.

Mordechai Sones ,

Search and rescue dog
Search and rescue dog

Yesterday, the Israel Dog Unit (IDU) joined efforts to locate an IDF soldier who had gone missing in Tel Aviv. MM was found alive and well. A breakthrough was reportedly also made in the search for Zusha Brandwein in the Judean Desert. The IDU has not yet been successful in locating Asaf Bruk, who disappeared in Ashqelon, or Oren Laslow in Bat Yam/Yaffo.

The IDU divided its Tapuach base into two camps to maximize their ability to continue operations, should one camp require quarantine. Construction of several new apartments to facilitate a third camp to welcome new volunteers from Israel and abroad is underway, as candidates undergo a vetting and absorption process until their health status is confirmed.

IDU Commander Yekutiel ben Yaakov said: "I again welcome any Jews who wish to return to Israel, to join us in the Israel Dog Unit. As long as we have the ability, we will even pitch tents, if necessary, to house any who wish to join the ranks of the dog unit, to help us defend Jews in Israel from terror, and find and rescue missing people with the aid of specially-trained SAR and security dogs.

"Dozens have made Aliya through our unit in the past. We have even facilitated the Aliya of married couples and families. Many have contacted us since the outbreak of the vicious virus. We still have some space available."

He says, "we take risks every day to defend fellow Jews in Israel from terror attacks, and as we stand committed even during these perilous times to search for and rescue missing people. With banks half closed, and with donations slowing down due to the intensification of the global standstill, our monumental life-saving task has become increasingly complex."

Ben Yaakov continued: "Our ambitious invitation to Jews abroad to come home to Israel and join the IDU is not only a risk to us but a huge strain upon us. It is our humble contribution and show of solidarity with our brothers and sisters worldwide. We maintain a delicate balance of taking steps to secure our camps while not turning our backs on others in need. We turn to you, during this great hour in Jewish history to make a meaningful contribution and to stand with us in a show of solidarity with the Israel Dog Unit.

"We are building, full-force ahead, thank G-d, additional rooms to house the potential influx of new volunteers as well as to service our existing, noble volunteers. The expenses are staggering; dog care and food, people-care & food, fuel, electric, construction costs and all of the other expenses needed to keep our national unit afloat to meet the increasing challenges confronting all of us."

Ben Yaakov says maintaining the unit and continuing providing vital life-saving services during these critical times is top priority: "We must guarantee that the unit is fully stocked with food, fuel, diesel, dog food, and everything that we might need to carry out operations in the coming weeks of uncertainty."