Activists call for end to use of guard dogs at Sde Dov airfield

Animal welfare groups and concerned residents want to know why chained dogs are better than security cameras.

The Let the Animals Live animal welfare organization is calling on the IDF to stop using dogs to guard the Sde Dov airfield in north Tel Aviv, saying the dogs are being abused, reports And north Tel Aviv residents who discovered the dogs chained along the airfield's fence said it was hard to believe that there was no better way to guard an airfield in Israel in 2009. According to the report, the military is responsible for guarding the civilian airfield, but its use of the dogs was discovered only recently, with the opening of the Tel Baruch promenade next to the airfield. Residents out walking or jogging along the new promenade were dismayed to see about 10 dogs chained at intervals along the length of the fence. One resident said that while the chains did allow the dogs to run short distances and while there were some "wretched" kennels placed near the animals, there was no doubt that the dogs were leading "miserable and awful" lives, fully exposed to the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter. The residents questioned why security cameras or other means of protection could not be used instead, and called in the Let the Animals Live organization, which urged the IDF to stop using the animals for security purposes. "This is real abuse," organization head Eti Alterman said. "The time has come to stop for once and for always this bad use of dogs for security missions." City councilor and animal activist Reuben Ladianski said that when the dogs tried to jump they were pulled back by the chains at their throats, and he intended to act to persuade the IDF to stop using the animals. But an IDF spokesman said the dogs had been taken from the municipal animal shelter and if this had not occurred, it was likely they would have been euthanized. The spokesman said the animals were being taken care of by dog-handlers and were supervised by veterinarians from the air force.