WATCH: Israeli October 7 survivors are reunited with their pets

Wonderful moment Israeli October 7 survivors who lost loved-ones – including young girls orphaned by Hamas – are reunited with the PETS they thought had also been killed

  • Ben Ozeri, 27, has been picking through the rubble of kibbutzim to find pets
  • He is committed to reuniting the lost furry friends with their survivor owners 

Since October 9, Ben Ozeri has been digging through the rubble of Kibbutz Kfar Azar, Kibbutz Be’eri and Kibbutz Nir Oz looking for missing dogs and cats.

The 27-year-old is amongst a number of volunteers in Israel dedicated to rescuing the pets caught up in the brutal October 7 terrorist attacks and reuniting them with any surviving owners.

Many of the animals he has rescued have been badly traumatised by their experiences.

‘Sometimes the animals I find are injured after being hit with shrapnel.

‘One cat I rescued was completely coated in ash from the fires in the Kibbutzim.

‘Pets that are normally friendly, now run away terrified whenever they see people.’

When asked why he is risking his life to save animals Ben – who runs a non-profit pet shop said: ‘Animals in this situation are completely helpless – it’s a warzone and nobody else is going to help them except me.’

One of the most heartwarming moments of his work so far was finding and reuniting Simba with his two owners Romi Sussi, 6, and Lia Sussi, 3.

Both their parents were murdered by Hamas terrorists.

Amazing footage shows the elation of pet owners being reunited with their lost friends

Ben has been posting videos of the beautiful moment pets are reunited with their owners on TikTok where he has now amassed almost 60,000 followers

Since October 9, Ben Ozeri has been digging through the rubble of Kibbutz Kfar Azar, Kibbutz Be’eri and Kibbutz Nir Oz looking for missing dogs and cats

A now viral video captures the moment their mother Odaya Swisa was shot to death while trying to drive to safety. Her two terrified children hid in the back of the car.

‘In this video I noticed a dog flee from the car.

‘I decided I needed to find this dog and return him to the two girls who survived,’ Ben said. 

Beauty and bravery in the face of Hamas terror: Survivors of October 7 massacre put on extraordinary fashion show

He eventually found this dog – Simba – who was being looked after by a kindly old woman.

‘Simba had been badly traumatised from the attacks and kept trying to bite me.’

‘But when he finally heard Romi and Lia’s voices he completely calmed down.

‘When they opened the door he started jumping up and down excitedly licking them and rolling all over the floor. He was so loving and friendly.’

Ben posted a video of the beautiful moment Simba and his owners were reunited on TikTok where he has now amassed almost 60,000 followers.

As more Israelis found out about his volunteer work they began to contact him with pictures of their missing furry friends.

One such person was Israeli singer Shaylee Atary, 34, who was searching for her dog, Buckley, and two cats, Grace and Cocas.

She had escaped her house in Kibbutz Kfar Azar with her one-month-old baby Shaya. But her husband, filmmaker Yohav Winner, 37, was murdered when terrorists lobbed grenades through their bedroom window.

Devastating footage shows the moment she learned of her husband’s death – midway through an interview with Sky News.

She said: ‘I was embarrassed to ask someone to help me find my pets.

‘It didn’t feel right to care about animals after my friends had been slaughtered and my husband had been murdered.

‘But when I heard about Ben’s team I dared to dream my pets might still be alive.’

Ben went to Kibbutz Kfar Azar on October 9 – just two days after the attacks to look for Buckley, Grace and Cocas.

The ground was still littered with dead bodies – including the bodies of armed terrorists still clutching grenades.

While scouring Shaylee’s house a siren started ringing and five seconds later a rocket fell ten metres from his body.

After visiting Shaylee’s house ten different times he was able to find all her pets, alive but badly injured.

An Israeli woman embraces her pet after being reunited weeks after the October 7 attacks

Like their owners, many pets are traumatised following the events of October 7

‘Ben called me and showed me a picture of Buckley in my house. He was covered in ash and had been badly injured, but it was him, still in the house.

She added: ‘Each time Ben brought a new pet back to me I felt a slither of hope for one brief second.

‘But I also feel so much sorrow inside that hope because I was reminded again and again that my husband was dead and was not coming back.’

Shaylee’s pets – like so many people in Israel – are still traumatised by the events of October 7.

‘Whenever I fall asleep my cat Grace tries desperately to wake me up because she thinks I am dead.

‘She’ll stand on my tummy and ‘meow’ in my face to wake me up. She never did that before. If that doesn’t work she’ll nudge my face with her head.

‘I think she must have been with Yoav’s body after he died.’

In an emotional TikTok video Shaylee is seen joyously cuddling with her cat Cocas after he was rescued by Ben.

‘I was crying so much when I saw my dogs and cats again.

‘And now whenever I cry my dog Buckley comes and licks away my tears.’

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