IDF combat dog finds new home with help of Israeli-owned sanctuary

Arik was the first to enter a Hamas attack tunnel in order to search for Goldin and served in many missions protecting IDF soldiers, but he fell ill and hasn't served in the past 3 years.

June 13, 2019 02:27
2 minute read.
Soldiers in the IDF's Oketz unit hugging a dog during a break, photo taken by Topaz Luk from the IDF

Soldiers in the IDF's Oketz unit hugging a dog during a break, photo taken by Topaz Luk from the IDF spokesperson's unit. (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES)


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Arik, an IDF attack dog who was the first to run into the tunnel where IDF soldier Hadar Goldin was kidnapped during the Operation Tzuk Eitan in 2014, has found a home with the help of an Israeli-owned dog and horse sanctuary in Canada, Mako reported.

The IDF attack dog was the first to enter a Hamas attack tunnel in order to search for Goldin and served in many missions protecting IDF soldiers, but at the age of 9 he fell ill and hasn't served in missions for the past three years.
Arik couldn't find a fitting home in Israel, so he made the trek to Canada, where Israelis Danielle and Baruch Scheinberg run the "Dog Tales" sanctuary.

The sanctuary is located on a 50-acre farm and serves as a home to about 80 dogs who would otherwise be killed due to capacity issues in shelters around the world and 70 horses rescued from meat buyers in Canada, according to Toronto Life.


The Scheinberg's were living in Israel when they got married and decided to open the sanctuary, but they decided to look for land in Canada since they knew they'd be able to find larger plots of land there. They eventually decided on a former horse arena in King City.

"It was important to me to showcase our rescue dogs in a different, higher-end light," said Danielle to Toronto Life. "I wanted to make it glamorous so I could change how people think about mixed-breed dogs."

Dogs can be adopted by stopping by an open house at the sanctuary which happens every Sunday and then scheduling a private appointment.

The sanctuary is privately funded, relying on donations for dog food and property upkeep.

Dog Tales consists of six buildings, including a horse barn, a lavish kennel, housing for the 50 current employees and the Scheinberg's home, according to Toronto Life.

Dog Tales explains on their website that the sanctuary is "extravagantly" furnished because they "believe that our dogs deserve all of the comforts of home while they wait for their forever homes, and wanted to create a space that contrasted the idea of the cold, stark shelter that we all have grown so accustomed to."

The stylish decor also helps with adoption because "A fun, decorated environment filled with happy dogs makes it easier for guests to repeatedly visit until they find that perfect dog, without leaving feeling emotionally drained each time," according to the sanctuary's site. 

In January 2016, Danielle visited an Israeli dog shelter that was "infested" with rats and decided to buy the entire shelter, according to Canadian Jewish News. She returned to Canada with 25 dogs who were healthy enough to travel and planned to relocate the remaining dogs once they were healthy enough.

"I’m trying to take the dogs that aren’t the absolute hardest cases but are stuck [in shelters] for no good reason," said Danielle to CJ News. "For example, around the world, people often don’t like to adopt black dogs, because they see them as bad luck, or they don’t want older dogs"

Arik is currently beginning the process at Dog Tales to get ready to move in with an adoptive family, according to Mako.

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