The SAR Unit is a relatively new unit that has been formed in response to the need for a non-affiliated SAR unit that can commit to a search even in cases where the government agencies' resources would be limited or not used due to manpower shortage or shift in priorities. The ICK9U - SAR Unit uses Halachic principals to decide when to continue or abandon a search. The unit is constantly growing with the addition of fully trained dogs being imported from Europe and with local breeding and training.
The newest extension to the ICK9U is the addition of two Cadaver Dogs that are specially trained to find the remains of a deceased person. These dogs are usually only used by police forensic teams to find evidence. The ICK9U uses these dogs to give the searchers, family and friends closure.
A search for a missing person that has continued without result would normally be terminated once the probability of finding the missing person alive is too small. The professional services withdraw their resources and the family needs to come to terms with the decision that was made. The ICK9U will then bring in the Cadaver Dogs and try to find the body. Finding a body removes the Halachic duty to search from the team, allows the deceased to be brought to burial as quickly as possible and may even help to prevent Halachic problems of "Yerusha" and "Agunot". This form of closure is important to the searchers and the family and until such closure is reached, there always remains the concern that the missing person might be somewhere needing our help.
3. Security Dogs
Rural Policing can never offer comprehensive safety. People who live in these areas have to take responsibility for their own safety. A well trained Security Dog serves, as a deterrent, an alarm and if necessary to disarm and arrest an assailant. While the Security Dogs only attack on command, they are considered by the organisation (and by the law) as a dangerous weapon. They are only given out to handlers that have been checked out and have shown that they are responsible and law abiding citizens that will only use a weapon in a way that is sanctioned by the courts. The organisation holds regular training sessions and inspections of all the Security Dogs that have been given out to ensure that the placement is responsible and appropriate.
4. The Dogs
The Dogs are carefully selected from specially bread litters. Their nature is gauged, and they are set on a training regime that will bring out their potential as champion SAR, Cadaver, Guard Dogs. All the dogs are socialized from a young age so that they do not fear people, children, cars, buses, water or other dogs so that they do not bite on instinct or out of fear. They are then taught standard obedience training and later search or attack work.
5. Prevention of Cruelty
Working dogs are not pets. They have to serve a specific function with a certain level of efficacy and efficiency. The dogs, like their handlers, often need to work in harsh or dangerous conditions. Therefore the possibility that dogs may being maltreated or abused exists. The organization makes it clear that all participants have to adhere to Halachically acceptable and humane treatment of the dogs. The Dogs are under regular veterinarian care and are inspected regularly to ensure that they have the conditions and treatment that they need and deserve. The organisation's highly experienced team has, on a number of occasions removed dogs from volunteers and participating owners when signs or symptoms of maltreatment or abuse were noticed. In the same way that the dogs have to be trained, so do the handlers need to be trained. The main focus of the training that the handlers receive is to understand that a happy dog is a stable dog that will give all he has to serve his master. The handler needs to understand that if the dog does not follow the commands that he is giving, it is the handler's lack of clarity or proficiency and that he is the one that needs to correct his handling or leave dog work to those who have the correct aptitude.
The organization is seeking 3 categories of volunteers
1. Full time SAR or Security handlers: To be on standby at the Unit Headquarters or at their homes, place of work or study. After an initial training period, these volunteers need to be part of at least a weekly or twice a week training sessions and need to be in a position to respond to a life threatening situation in less than an hour.
2. Part time SAR or Security handlers: In the case of SAR Handlers they are require to be on standby at their homes to respond within a few hours to back up and relieve the Full time handlers. In the case of Security Dog Handlers their primary objective is to secure their immediate community but may be called upon from time to time to assist to secure their neighboring towns.
3. Friends of ICK9U: We need friends. Lots of friends. All over the county and all over the world. Freinds of ICK9U are people who know and care about the organization. Friends of ICK9U will receive regular information about the organization's activities and developments. Our Friends will receive information about persons that are missing but for whom there is no specific search plan (where the information has been released for dissemination by the family and the police.) Where appropriate, they will be called upon to look out in their own city or community for those persons. Friends of ICK9U are called up to come to our assistance in long drawn out searches where another pair of eyes will help. At times they will be called upon to help with logistical issues, such as bringing equipment or even food or extra clothing.
6. Searching for Missing Persons
The organization is here to serve the public. After reporting a missing person to the Police at the 100 call center, people are invited to contact us to discuss how we could help to find the missing person. As we build up our volunteer and support base, we hope to be able to mobilize country wide to assist the police, Zaka, Mada and the family by providing volunteers for both urban and rural searches. Where appropriate, we would mobilize dog units at other times we would mobilize only people.