THESE DOGS were among the 67 rescued.
(photo credit: YOAV BEN-DOV)
In the biggest dog rescue operation to date in Israel, Agriculture Ministry inspectors and others evacuated 67 pups from squalor at a moshav in the country’s South on Sunday, together with the Let Animals Live organization.
Following multiple complaints received in recent days against a southern Israel resident who was holding dozens of dogs in terrible conditions, a team of veterinarians from the ministry and the Be’er Tuviya Regional Council arrived on Sunday. There they discovered 67 dogs, some in cages and others fenced into a muddy compound, the ministry said.
The dogs, who were held in polluted and putrid conditions, lacked basic living space necessary for survival, according to the inspectors. Mothers of puppies just a few weeks old were lying on concrete or on beds of urine-soaked newspapers without any thermal insulation or protection from harsh weather conditions, they added.
Many of the dogs were found wet and shivering, while those in cages had only dirty drinking water. Scattered around the complex was food unfit for canine consumption – loaves of moldy bread mixed with leftover ground chicken, the ministry said.
“Dogs were found to have been suffering for years from daily hardship, for commercial and profit purposes, without receiving basic conditions,” said Dr. Nirit Tzipory- Barki, deputy commissioner of animal welfare at the ministry’s Veterinary Services.
“The poor conditions in which the dogs were held are apparently a violation of the Animal Welfare Law and [qualify as] criminal exploitation of animals.”
Such facilities have in recent years come to be known as “puppy mills,” especially those breeding canines for profit in sub-par conditions.
In addition, Tzipory-Barki explained, the dogs lacked any documentation of their immunization histories, and none were marked as having been vaccinated against rabies, which is required by law.
After acquiring a removal order from the Beersheba Magistrate’s Court over the weekend, ministry inspectors, Let Animals Live volunteers and Be’er Tuviya Regional Council veterinarians rescued all 67 dogs. They were transferred to a protected rehabilitation facility under the supervision of the ministry and will be put up for adoption once they have received sufficient treatment, the ministry said.
Yael Arkin, general manager of Let Animals Live, described the “heartbreaking” conditions the dogs had experienced, stressing that her organization did everything in its power to facilitate the rescue.
“It is difficult to describe the horrific conditions and difficult situation of the animals that were there, and we will continue to monitor the case to ensure that the offenders who are responsible pay the heavy penalty they deserve,” Arkin said. “It is important for the public to know that as long as people buy ‘pedigree’ dogs, these horrific places will exist, and so we call on all those who love animals to refrain from buying dogs and choose the option of adopting an ownerless dog from an NGO or municipal shelter.”