Deaf 19-year-old beats all odds to become police dog trainer
Having been turned down by the IDF, Shahaf Karavny joins police force • "I have a special bond with animals, they understand me and they cannot argue with me," she tells Israel Hayom • "The Israel Police welcomes people with disabilities," says officer
Shahaf Karavny with one of the dogs she trained
Photo credit: Israel Police
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.
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 .
Camera: BeeCreative Video editor: Adi Elhadif
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.
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."