Deaf female 19 yr-old beats all odds to join Israel Police as dog trainer
Having been rejected by the army, Shahaf Karavny joins Israel Police force, “I have a special bond with animals, they understand me & they cannot argue with me,” she says
“The Israel Police welcomes people with disabilities,” says K-9 officer
By Itsik Saban
Shahaf Karavny’s story proves that where there is a will, there is a way. After being told she could not serve in the Israel Defense Forces’ canine unit, the 19-year old from Hadera did not give hope and became the first deaf to serve as an Israel Police dog trainer.
Shahaf Karavny with one of the dogs she trained – Photo: Israel Police
Karavny says her congenital condition has not affected her performance. “I am getting along really well; my hearing does not affect the dogs,” she told Israel Hayom on Wednesday .
In 2013, Karavny graduated from the Carmel Zvulun Regional High School in Kibbutz Yagur. The fact that she had a hearing aid constantly plugged into her ear did not stop her from majoring in graphic design, the only deaf to do so that year.
Upon graduation, Karavny hoped she could join the IDF like her peers. Born into a family that has raised about a dozen dogs, Karavny was determined to be a dog trainer in the IDF. “I have a special bond with animals, they understand me and they cannot argue with me,” she told Israel Hayom.
After the IDF told her she did not qualify for the prestigious Oketz canine unit or the equivalent unit in the Israeli Air Force, her mother approached the commander of the Israel Police’s mounted unit, who agreed to take her on the spot.
After completing the necessary courses, she was tasked with training the sniffer dogs law enforcement use for detecting explosives and drugs. “The most important part of my job is to give clear instructions; if I do so, the dogs listen,” Karavny says. “I can control them even without having to raise my voice,” she explains.
Camera: BeeCreative – Video editor: Adi Elhadif
Senior Staff Sergeant Major Hanan Pahmani, who is in charge of the dog training courses in the police, is all praise for Karavny. “The job is very demanding, you have to be very strong; Shahaf has handled that superbly,” he says.
Chief Superintendent Tal Shikma, who oversees the handling of animals in the Israel Police, told Israel Hayom on Wednesday that “the Israel Police welcomes people with disabilities.”
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