The Israel Animal Defense Force is a registered non-profit organization established to promote the love of animals in Israel and raise the protection of their rights to freedom from cruelty and neglect to those of such progressive nations as the United States, England, Ireland, Germany, Canada and New Zealand.
Good Laws Are Only A Beginning
A major step in that direction occurred in 1994 with the enactment of the Animal Cruelty Law. The Animal Cruelty Law made abuse of animals a crime punishable by three years of imprisonment. However, for a variety of reasons, this law has been severely under-enforced. The situation cried out for a solution that would address both a general lack of sensitivity to the plight of animals in Israeli society and a lack of will and resources to address that plight.
We decided that the only way to effect a change in the enforcement of animal protection was to create a new branch of volunteer officers in the Israeli Police Force, animal lovers trained to deal with violations of laws regarding cruelty to animals. In 2008, two long years of negotiations and a police training course later, 40 of our volunteers began their service with the Kefar Saba Police Department.
Enforcement, Education, Sensitization
Enforcement of the Animal Cruelty Law is the Israel Animal Guard’s primary mission. However, we believe that enforcement of the Law and deterrence must go hand-in-hand with public education and sensitization.
Our volunteer officers visit schools, universities and Army bases and provide in-service training for members of the law enforcement and justice communities. Our goal is to instill love for animals, understanding of their needs and respect for their rights. We see the care and protection of animals as part of the fundamental underpinnings of a just and moral society.
In addition to our volunteer police officers, we have a number of other volunteer activities involved in our effort:
Writers and media figures working to stimulate public awareness and promote animal rights.
Lawyers helping us manage the legal issues involved in animal protection
Veterinarians providing treatment for injured animals
Foster families that take in hurt and neglected animals
Adoption specialists who strive to find homes for our rescued animals.
Not Just Another Animal Rights Organization.
Our decision to become part of the law enforcement community was not an easy one. It is a major commitment on the part of our members. In order to become uniformed volunteer members of the Israeli Police, they go through an intensive three-month police training course and commit to serve at least two four-hour shifts each month. Whenever a case of suspected abuse or neglect of an animal is reported, members of our group are dispatched in police vehicles to deal with the problem.
Our teaming up with the police has already had a noticeable affect on their awareness, respect and ability to actively enforce the Animal Cruelty Law. Assuming that everything continues as planned, we will soon begin the process of organizing Israel Animal Guard branches in cities and townships all over Israel.