For the love of animals

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For the love of animals

All you need to know about the loss of Israel Guide Dog's champion and how to find love with your pet

Brigit Grant is the Jewish News Supplements Editor


When Martin Segal, the UK Executive of Israel Guide Dog Centre died in January, the charity lost a dynamic team member who was dedicated to the work, the dogs and Israel, where he had served in the IDF.

Even with exhausting health struggles Martin stayed focused on the centre and even more so after October 7. In that time 140 puppies were born and IGDC staff were called up for army duty as well as the puppy raisers department so the charity was seriously understaffed.

Martin often talked about the need for additional trainers and the intensity of that training which is now recognised internationally. The IGDC is currently creating a Guide Dog Trainers academy, based on the UK Guide Dogs model. Martin initiated the collaboration.

“The war has also increased the need for more PTSD service dogs,” said Hazel Kaye interim Executive Director. “We already know that a number of IDF soldiers have been blinded during this war and 15% of all war injuries are eye related. The war has also increased pressure to significantly raise the number of PTSD Service dogs available to IDF veterans and ordinary citizens. We were working hard to prepare for the ‘day after’.Unfortunately, the ‘day-after’ is already here.”

Over the past decade, IGDC has given hundreds of Emotional Support dogs to families with children who have additional needs and those on the autism spectrum and will now provide dogs to individuals, and both children and families as a whole. “We are finalising plans to renovate the Veterinary Clinic, which was built 30 years ago. said Hazel.

“It is small and dark and doesn’t meet the needs of an organisation that is responsible for hundreds of dogs at any one time. The estimated cost is NIS 1.5 million, £320,000.”

Martin Segal was helping with that renovation and had plans to bring in more donations with his events and many cycling marathons. Martin’s wife Rebecca, son Natan and his many friends continue his work, but his passing leaves a hole in the charity he loved. Every dog in the IGDC blue coat is a salute to their champion Martin Segal.

Omri and his war dog

Love & War  

After completing military service, travelling for a year in South America and coming back to volunteer in an army preparatory program it was finally time for IDF soldier Omri Kantor, 24, to settle down to studies in Herzilya.

A few weeks before he was due to commence he had one week reserve duty planned which turned into three months in the West Bank and Gaza after the Hamas terrorist attack .

“When I was finally released in time to start uni in the special session set up for reserve duty soldiers ,I decided I wanted to adopt a dog who would also appreciate the comforts of home,” says Omri. He contacted an agency that matches abandoned puppies with families and had to undergo a long interview process. “Charlie, half golden retriever and half Swiss shepherd, was very scared of strangers when he first came to us but he now follows me around and sits next to me while I’m studying. It’s a pleasure to come home every day.”

Anne Frank

PET with purpose 

Don’t don’t read,but many can spell W.A.L.K and notably the word S.O.U.P on a Friday if they reside in a Jewish home. Jewish dogs also know when they have misbehaved because they don’t get any affection for at least five minutes.
The love for animals owned by Jewish families during the Holocaust is the theme of two lesser known, but very important books.

In The Jewish Dog an Israeli bestseller, author Asher Kravitz gives the spotlight to Caleb, a contemplative dog unusually fascinated with human affairs during the Holocaust. As a pet in a German-Jewish household in the mid-1930s, Caleb witnesses the rise of Nazism, being separated from his owners, adopted by a Nazi family and then employed by the SS as a military dog.

Deeply ironic and even humorous, The Jewish Dog offers Caleb’s philosophical musings as he explores the fine line that separates humanity from animals.

Mala Kacenberg is the real life protagonist in the autobiographical Mala’s Cat. Raised in a Polish village, when the Nazis arrived, Mala’s family were murdered. She had no one left, except for her cat, Malach and together they were forced to hide in the forest as the German soldiers hunted for them. Alone, they would have died.

But could they somehow survive together? Thinking about the impact of horror during the Holocaust leads us to Anne Frank who hated leaving her beloved cat Moortje behind at apartment at the insistence of her parents who left a note asking the cat be given to neighbours. Anne also loved the dog owned by Isa Cauvern, an employee of her father Otto who took photos of the tragic young woman who would never return. Both books are available on Amazon. 


A while back dating app Tinder branched out into the animal kingdom with pop-up gatherings. The aim was to bring single dog lovers together and now there are more enables dog lovers to connect all over the UK. So if your dog is a big part of your life,and you have not met that someone who feels the same way, just sign up for free,create a profile, answer a few questions,  upload a photo and woof you go. +You don’t need to own a dog to join the site.

Same deal for where they get on average, 75,000 new matches made and over 100,000 private messages sent between members every month! They have 60,000 members globally so you can walk your dog anywhere for love. Cat owners are welcome too.


How often have you been on holiday, befriended a stray and wished you could bring that dog or cat home? If you are in the Algarve this summer and feel like adopting, head to Tiny Shelter which is full of homeless dogs and puppies. Run on  donations, Isabel Searle’s animal shelter near Albufeira has operated tirelessly for decades and they will even help you move your adoptee back to the UK.

Purr im 

When it comes to Chag dress up on March 23, bring your pets in on the fun. To inspire here’s  Buster as Daniel’s lion in the den and Lily chanelling Queen Esther.  all costumes from

Happy Birthday to Waggington’s boss.  There will be celebrations in Mill Hill on Feb 20, but that happens all the time for boarders and day visitors.

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