On Saturday evening, amid the numerous calls he received to provide emergency medical services (EMS), Aryeh Shavit from the Migdal Ha’Emek chapter of United Hatzalah responded to a call involving a traffic accident in the heart of Tel Aviv. Shavit responded in less than three minutes in spite of the heavy traffic that resulted from the accident and found a badly injured dog that was hit by a car. Shavit, in spite of not having received veterinary training, began to administer first aid to the dog after he called the national veterinary services and requested an animal rescue ambulance be dispatched to the scene.  

Aryeh Shavit treating the dog by Kibbutz Galuyot road
Aryeh Shavit treating the dog by Kibbutz Galuyot road

“We went out to a call regarding a person who was unconscious, immediately after that call I got another notification from central command saying that there was a traffic accident in my area. I turned my ambucycle in the direction of Kibbutz Galuyot street and headed out to through the middle of Tel Aviv,” recalled Shavit. “When I arrived on scene, I saw the car accident and cars pulled over on the side of the road. I reported arriving at the car accident to the command center and then I saw that the injured victim was a large dog that the car had hit. Together with one of the bystanders I picked up the dog from the street and we gingerly moved it to the sidewalk.”

Allowing the traffic to pass, Shavit then began trying to treat the dog.  “I started checking out the dog to see if it was conscious, breathing, or if it had any external bleeding that I could perhaps stop. I’m not a veterinarian but I figured I might be able to help somewhat.”

To the joy of the bystanders and the driver the dog was still alive. “I found the dog was breathing, and had received a head wound, which luckily was not bleeding profusely. The dog was unable to move and I had asked the driver who hit the dog to stay with it until the veterinarian service could arrive. The driver stayed on site and tried to help as much as he could. From what he said he was unable to see the dog who had been trying to cross the busy street.”

United Hatzalah national volunteer emergency medical services is not used to responding to calls involving animals, but in the words of Shavit, “we try to help wherever and whenever needed, even if the situation is irregular.”