Trusted canine partner saves six soldiers in IDF unit

‘My hero and beloved dog, Ziggy, saved my life and others,’ said the rehabilitating soldier.

By Troy O. Fritzhand, The Algemeiner

Details have emerged of how a dog in one of the IDF’s most elite units saved the lives of six soldiers in Gaza, as the wounded recount the canine’s heroism.

In an interview with Hebrew media, Sergeant N. of the Oketz Unit, a counterterrorism force that uses specially trained dogs for their missions, talked about how his dog Ziggy was killed by two Hamas terrorists in Khan Yunis early in January.

“I entered the house with the force of the 101st Paratrooper and Engineering Battalion. We did a scan on the first floor, I insisted that the devoted dog Ziggy also do a scan on the second floor of the residence. As soon as he came down the staircase of the house in Khan Yunis, the terrorists shot at him, and Ziggy was killed on the spot. He saved my life and the lives of six other fighters who were in the building,” he said.

In the process of the close-range combat, N. and some of his unit mates were injured. He told reporters that currently he is “Hospitalized in the orthopedic department, suffering from a problem with my knee, which received a terrible blow from shrapnel. I got a lot of shrapnel on my left side from a shot, but I am making progress here in the rehabilitation department, and I especially miss my dog ​​Ziggy, who was with me from a very young age… My hero and beloved dog Ziggy, who was close to me for a year and a half, saved my life and the lives of the other fighters.”

Read  WATCH: IDF dog finds dozens of rockets hidden underground

Ziggy’s body was brought back to Israel, where it is sitting in a refrigerator for burial as soon as N. and those from his unit have recovered, so they can be present for the funeral. N. added, “I hope I will recover soon, and then I will come with the friends he saved and bring my hero dog to the burial… and, of course, I will return to our amazing unit.”

The IDF’s canine unit is revered around the world, with many countries, such as India, even purchasing some of the dogs to assist their forces. The dogs are specially trained to attack and neutralize terrorists. The dogs are Belgian Shepherds, and have the ability to search for weapons, find explosives, and save people buried under rubble. At the end of their service, the dogs are usually taken by their handlers for civilian life.