Israel’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals held a special program for officers of the Israel Police Officers’ Course, which aims to strengthen police involvement in cases of animal abuse. During the meeting, the cadets learned about the Animal Welfare Law and played with rescued dogs.

Watch: Footage from the ISPCA’s joint program with the Israel Police cadets

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Israel’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals receives reports of severe animal abuse on a daily basis. Concerned neighbors and socially responsible passers-by have reported difficult cases to the association, and the number of reports remains high. The ISPCA therefore resolved to take a more hands-on approach and decided to get police officers more involved; they, after all, are responsible for law enforcement which includes cases of animal abuse.

Last week, the ISPCA held a special training program for cadets enrolled in the Israel Police Officer’s Course. The program was designed to help teach future officers about the Animal Welfare Law and its significance. The law, enacted in 1994, defines animal abuse or abandonment as a criminal offense, prescribes punishments for abusers and provides guidelines for enforcing the law. The cadets were given a tour of the ISPCA’s compound and had a chance to walk and play with the dogs.

“Anyone who abuses animals will end up harming humans as well” Photo Credit: ISPCA/ Channel 2 News

The ISPCA believes that the program succeeded in creating an emotional connection between the policemen and animals who are in need. The cadets played with them, and gave them badly needed love and attention. “I am a dog handler in the police force and I understand the sensitivity, warmth and love that the dogs need,” said Avital Tzuriel. “Here they do it in a wonderful way. Anyone who abuses animals will end up harming humans as well. We in the police force will do anything to prevent that from happening.”

The ISPCA expressed their hope that a deeper understanding the provisions of the Animal Welfare Law among the cadets of the police force, together with emotional connection to the animals, will strengthen the cadet’s concern and awareness towards animals in distress. This will hopefully lead to increased and improved enforcement of the Animal Welfare Law and to a significant reduction in the number of animal abuse cases in Israel.