ARK rescuing dog in flooding in Ukraine © Animal Rescue Kharkiv

On the Front Lines: PETA Rescuers Run Toward Danger to Save Animals

Issue 1|Winter 2024

“Portero” means “gatekeeper” – a name this little dog earned because he sat at the gate of a Puerto Rican animal shelter day after day, perhaps wishing for a kind person to take him home.

His wish did come true, but not before Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, devastating the island. A PETA rescue team reached the scene and managed to pull traumatized and injured animals from abandoned homes and flooded neighborhoods, deliver food and supplies to animals in danger of starving, and assist animal shelters reeling from the influx of animal refugees, including the one Portero had sat and waited at.

One of PETA’s rescue team members decided to adopt Portero, who then traded days at the gate for hiking with his new guardian in the mountains, zooming up and down the beach, and snuggling, his favorite activity of all.

A dog with long gray fur being carried by someoneKen Penn

Since their beginning, PETA entities around the world have rescued many animals like Portero from seemingly hopeless situations, often in areas where few other humans dared go. They wade through chest-deep floodwaters, sift through earthquake rubble (and ride out aftershocks), descend into deep wells, and even enter war zones to rescue animals facing horrors galore and in danger of perishing. Thanks to contributors to PETA’s Global Compassion Fund, our teams deliver relief to animals in the worst of places and situations.

When Taal Volcano erupted in the Philippines, PETA Asia’s rescue teams were the first to set foot on the remote island, refusing to heed warnings to stay away, bringing boatloads of food and medical supplies. With another eruption imminent, they ferried hundreds of ash-covered and terrified dogs, cats, horses, and chickens and even an injured heron across the lake to safety.

After a deadly explosion rocked Beirut, a PETA UK rescuer combed the ruins, rescuing a chicken with fractured hips and a severely neglected dog named Arrow, who now enjoys the good life with his canine “siblings” in a beautiful home far above the city.

Those are just a few of our rescue stories, but by liberating animals from laboratories, shutting down abusive roadside zoos and exotic-animal traders, and convincing countless people to go vegan, PETA has prevented millions of animals from suffering – each one of them an individual, each one a someone.

Read on for more riveting PETA entity rescues from the front lines. →


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind