With sirens blaring and loud booms of Iron Dome rockets intercepting projectiles launched from nearby Gaza, the Israel Dog Unit (IDU) volunteer handlers and service dogs searched in the scorching Ashkelon heat and humidity for an at-risk man missing since early Monday morning.

53-year-old Daniel was reported missing Monday evening. Daniel suffered a break-down after being informed he was fired from the factory where he was employed. He left home in a miserable state of mind, leaving behind his wallet, keys, and phone. His family found a letter in which he left instructions concerning his insurance policies. By the time they read it, Daniel had disappeared. He took with him a copious amount of pills, and nothing else.

Daniel’s son Yair said, “We're scared that he took a lot of sleeping pills and he's laying somewhere unconscious. If we don’t find him soon, he'll die. I'm begging the public to help spread my father’s picture and help us find my father.”

The IDU deployed teams in open areas; in the vicinity of the man's house in northern Ashkelon they searched abandoned buildings and other places between there and the coast.

Searches continued despite sirens and barrages in the area as it was clear this was a race against time and the missing man must be found as quickly as possible.

After Daniel had been missing 36 hours a trace scent was picked up by the rescue dog "Aishaleh" leading them to an abandoned ruin in an overgrown thicket, where IDU volunteers found the man unconscious and severely dehydrated.

Upon finding him, one of the volunteers shouted, "He...is...breathing!", while calls were made to police and paramedics directing them to the site. IDU volunteers rushed to the road nearest to the ruin to direct arriving police and paramedics to the barely-alive missing man's hiding place.

As they ran and panted in the blazing summer swelter after disregarding enemy rocket and mortar, admiring police and rescue forces congratulated and saluted them, perhaps themselves being reminded of the youthful idealism that once inspired them to undertake dangerous careers in rescue.

The missing man was brought from the field on an IDU stretcher and evacuated by MDA for further treatment at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, where he remains in critical condition.

Anyone wishing to volunteer may call Mike at the IDU command center at 054-487-6709.

Discovering missing man
Discovering missing manIsrael Dog Unit Spokesman

IDU volunteer and policewoman at ruin
IDU volunteer and policewoman at ruinIsrael Dog Unit Spokesman

IDU field command
IDU field commandIsrael Dog Unit Spokesman

Aishaleh the Rescue Dog
Aishaleh the Rescue DogIsrael Dog Unit