Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s family dog Kaia, which bit two attendees at a Hanukkah candle-lighting event at the prime minister’s Jerusalem residence Wednesday, had also bitten Netanyahu himself earlier this year, Army Radio reported Thursday.
The prime minister reportedly received rabies vaccinations following the bite, a standard procedure in such situations.
At a Hanukkah candle lighting for Likud MKs hosted by the prime minister at his Jerusalem residence, the usually mild-mannered canine, a rescue pooch, bit MK Sharren Haskel and attorney Or Alon, husband of Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely.
Haskel, a trained veterinary nurse, took to the former pound dweller immediately, playing with Kaia until at one point, startled by the growing commotion and crowds at the residence, Kaia bit her hand.
The prime minister, according to witnesses visibly embarrassed, accompanied the young lawmaker to a side room where his on-duty paramedics bandaged her hand.
For her part, Haskel was unperturbed, noting mildly in a tweet, “To those asking about my welfare, as someone who was once a [professional] snake wrangler, a small bite from a dog doesn’t excite me.”
Within five minutes, however, the prime minister’s embarrassment only grew.
Alon, who was unaware of Kaia’s bite only minutes earlier, approached the dog and began to pet her.
“Get away from her, she bites,” Netanyahu managed to utter seconds before Alon, too, felt Kaia’s tension rather sharply on his hand.
He, too, was bandaged by the prime minister’s medical team.
Both injured victims stayed for the candlelighting, appearing cheerfully in photographs with the prime minister.
Haskel, a newcomer to the Knesset who replaced current UN Ambassador Danny Danon in August, recently spoke to the Knesset Channel about a bill she was planning to propose, under which dogs that bit people would not be quarantined in a detention facility, as is currently practiced in some cities.
The proposal would create a national policy under which biting dogs that had proof of immunization would not be put in detention, while those that did not have proof would be given “home detention.” Currently, the policy is at the discretion of municipal authorities and varies by city.
“I think this is something which is possible and important to advance on a national scale, because sometimes quarantining the dog for 10 days can be a very traumatic experience [for a dog],” Haskel said in the November 29 interview.
Kaia was adopted by the Netanyahus in July 2015 after their son, Avner, found her at a pound about to be put down.
“Meet Kaia, ten years old, a gentle and mild-mannered dog that instantly became a member of our family,” the prime minister enthused on Facebook at the time.
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