In the Dog House In the Dog House

Vet wants Netanyahu family dog to be let out of quarantine

1st dog is in seclusion after biting people; PM says regulations are ‘at odds with common sense and compassion’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with his dog Kaia at the PM's residence in Jerusalem in December, 2015. (Facebook)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with his dog Kaia at the PM's residence in Jerusalem in December, 2015. (Facebook)

The vet for the Netanyahu family dog has called for the animal to be released from the 10-day quarantine she was placed in after biting two people during a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony at the prime minister’s residence this week.

In a written statement arguing for the dog’s release that was obtained by Channel 2, the vet said that Kaia has been vaccinated multiple times against rabies. She detailed some non-contagious medical issues from which the dog suffers, including stress, which the vet says increase the health risks of being placed in quarantine for 10 days. Kaia, a rescue dog, has already passed through many households.

“Kaiya suffers from strong pains in her lower body as well as from being overweight. In addition, moving between so many families has made her suffer from anxiety,” the vet wrote.

The vet said that she has never seen any symptoms indicating contagious diseases in any of her visits to the family. Kaia also lives in a highly controlled environment, with no other pets, and is always walked by a human.

אמש הדלקנו נר חמישי של חנוכה בהרכב מלא של משפחתנו, לפני שנאלצנו בצער למסור את קאיה להסגר, כמתחייב על פי החוק. בעקבות…

Posted by ‎Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו‎ on Friday, December 11, 2015

The bid to secure the dog’s early release was backed by Eti Altman, the head of animal rights NGO Let Animals Live, Channel 2 said. Altman also asked the Agriculture Ministry to release the dog before her allotted time was up, due her physical and mental state.

“Some things call for common sense, not everything is black and white. Because she was already abandoned once, it’s like being abandoned by a second family. She doesn’t understand. One must be humane,” Altman said.

On Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the quarantine showed him the “flawed” Israeli regulations that allow municipalities to isolate dogs who have bitten people for a period of 10 days, even if they have been vaccinated.

“On Thursday night we lit the fifth Hanukkah candle before we sadly had to turn our Kaia over to quarantine, as required by law,” Netanyahu wrote on Facebook on Friday.

“Following this incident, I encountered the issue of quarantining dogs and found it to be flawed and at odds with common sense and compassion.

“I will ask experts in the health and agriculture ministries and animal protection organizations to draft proposals to improve upon the existing laws,” he added.

US Secretary of State John Kerry pets Kaya, the dog of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as Kerry and Netanyahu meet at the PM's official residence in Jerusalem, on November 24, 2015. (Photo by Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv)
US Secretary of State John Kerry pets Kaya, the dog of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as Kerry and Netanyahu meet at the PM’s official residence in Jerusalem, on November 24, 2015. (Photo by Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv)

The prime minister seems to have formed a bond with the large, aging white dog. When his family adopted her, he called on Israelis to help rescue dogs and to look for a dog in a shelter before considering buying a purebred.

A photo taken during a recent meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, shows the prime minister smiling fondly as he looks down at the family’s newest member.

According to reports, Netanyahu himself was bitten by the rescue pooch earlier this year.

Kaia’s victims were MK Sharren Haskel and attorney Or Alon, the husband of Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely.

Haskel, a trained veterinary nurse, took to the former pound dweller immediately, playing with Kaia until, startled by the commotion and crowds at the residence, the dog bit her hand. Alon, who was unaware of the incident moments earlier, approached the dog and began to pet her.

Both were treated by the prime minister’s medical team.

 

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