IDU volunteers during search operations
IDU volunteers during search operationsIsrael Dog Unit Spokesman

Volunteers from the Israel Dog Unit (IDU), a nonprofit organization specializing in search and rescue, have taken part in locating four missing persons in the last four days.

IDU volunteers, working with their eponymous service dogs, located Susan Sitton, age 74, reported missing from her house in Mevaseret Tzion earlier today (Wednesday). She was extracted from the forest with the help of the Harel precinct of the Israel Police and the Etzion rescue brigade, only a short while before a significant winter storm system is expected to strike the country. It is estimated that had she not been found, she would not have survived the coming storm.

And IDU volunteer, along with search dog Teddy, locates Sarah Sitton near Mevaseret Tzion.

A search effort in the Haifa region, which began Saturday night and extended into Sunday evening, produced similar results - an IDU team operating in Nahal Ovadiah located a young woman in need of medical attention in the woods surrounding Haifa, and was able to bring her to medical care despite the extreme cold and stormy conditions prevailing at the time (Monday).

IDU volunteers preparing to extract a stranded hiker from the forest near Haifa.

In addition to these two timely rescues, the IDU was able to help the MDA and Israel Police in locating two deceased women, one in the Haifa area on Sunday and one in the Jerusalem area on Tuesday. During the extraction of the woman found in Jerusalem, an IDU volunteer was able to assist forensic teams by removing from the area two dogs that were preventing the teams from reaching the scene.

IDU volunteer keeping dogs from interfering with forensic investigation.

Gai Sitton, son of Sarah Sitton, commented: “In the dark and cold moments of confusion and despair while searching for my 74-year-old mother with Alzheimer's disease, the IDU dropped everything to brave the cold weather with their search dogs. It was only thanks to them that she was located alive and well in the middle of the forest. Without them, we would have had no chance to locate her, not with the storm this close. They are a miracle from heaven, and only because of their generosity was she saved. I would especially like to thank Moshe and Teddy, the volunteer and dog who found my mother.”

An IDU spokesperson commented, “We salute our volunteers, who are ready to save lives in any conditions.”