Aiken Public Safety Team Nabs PETA Award for Saving Dog From Burning Truck

Officers Pull Unresponsive Dog From Smoke-Filled Vehicle in the Nick of Time

For Immediate Release:
January 10, 2018

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Aiken, S.C. – A Compassionate Action Award is on its way from PETA to the City of Aiken Department of Public Safety, which responded to a pickup truck on fire in a Kroger parking lot on Whiskey Road on New Year’s Day. After learning from the truck’s owner that his dog was inside the smoke-filled vehicle, officers found the 7-year-old basset hound mix, Bella, unresponsive in the backseat. They quickly administered oxygen with a K9 mask before rushing her to a veterinarian for further treatment. She is expected to recover.

“This dog was spared a horrible death because of these officers’ quick and caring actions,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA is recognizing the City of Aiken Department of Public Safety for saving Bella’s life, which will hopefully inspire people everywhere to come to the aid of animals in need.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—reminds all guardians never to leave animals in parked cars, where they are unable to escape emergencies and face extreme temperatures that can be deadly.

The public safety department will receive a framed certificate and a box of delicious vegan cookies.

For more information, please visit

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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