By Na'ama Zilber, Director of the Eshbal Therapeutic Kennel
October 7th - the day life as we knew it turned upside down. The ground trembled beneath our feet, forcing thousands to abandon their homes and seek safety. Amidst the rocket fire and upheaval, many four-legged companions ran away or were left behind—some since rescued, some still missing, and others navigating a desolate war-torn terrain.
Amid the chaos, a remarkable initiative emerged. Within 48 hours, citizens braved the uncertain and perilous journey southward. Their mission: locate and rescue these abandoned dogs, providing them with the care and safety they desperately needed.
The rescue efforts continue, having saved nearly 500 dogs.
At Eshbal's Therapeutic Kennel, we knew we had to help. Our kennel now shelters five dogs—four from the South and one from a reserve soldier unable to care for her during her service, each with a unique tale of survival.
In just a few weeks, with patient help and endless love from students in the Dog Training Vocational Course at Dror Israel's high school in nearby Karmiel, these traumatized dogs underwent a profound transformation. From fearful and hesitant, they evolved into curious, responsive companions. Basic training, grooming sessions, and showers became integral parts of their healing process.
These resilient canines are now on the brink of a new chapter—adoption. They've learned to respond to commands, navigate different environments, and even face challenges with enthusiasm. Their furry coats shine, their spirits lifted by the care and attention they've received.
Beyond physical care, our students have facilitated a heartwarming connection between these dogs and displaced children in evacuee centers in Tiberias. This not only provided an opportunity for these dogs to interact positively with humans but also created happy memories and therapeutic activities for the evacuated, distressed children.
As the kennel undergoes much needed renovations, we are creating not just a physical space but a haven—a place where rehabilitation goes beyond the surface. The current canine residents reinforce the importance of our kennel as a safe, inviting space for these resilient companions and for the students caring for them.
This journey isn't just about sheltering dogs; it's about preparing them for a new life. As we approach the adoption phase, we are happy to share that the dogs already have adoptive families lined up, ready to open their home to these resilient companions—war survivors seeking a second chance, a forever home. The reserve soldier will be released in the coming days and will pick up her well-cared for dog. We are glad that soon we will have an empty kennel and will be able to take in and rehabilitate a new group of dog.