Ames Firefighters Nab PETA Award for Daring Rescue of Cat

First Responders Pull Animal From Burning House, Spend 30 Minutes Reviving Her With Special Oxygen Mask

For Immediate Release:
September 13, 2016

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Ames, Iowa – A Compassionate Fire Department Award is on its way from PETA to the Ames Fire Department, which responded to a house fire on Labor Day and encountered residents desperate to find their cat, Cleo. Firefighters entered the home’s smoke-filled basement twice before finding Cleo unresponsive and then spending more than 30 minutes reviving her with a special oxygen mask designed for animals (video available here). Much to her guardians’ relief, she slowly started to breathe and move on her own and was rushed to the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine for further treatment.

“The Ames Fire Department keeps special pet revival masks on all apparatus because we know that pets are family too!” wrote the fire department in a widely shared Facebook post about the rescue.

“These courageous firefighters had the knowledge, the resources, and the determination to save this cat from a frightening, painful death,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA hopes their example will inspire people everywhere to be heroes for animals in need.”

To thank the firefighters for their efforts, PETA is sending them a framed certificate, a box of delicious vegan cookies, and a copy of The Engine 2 Diet—a Texas firefighter’s 28-day plan for staying in shape by eating plant-based meals.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—encourages all animal guardians to have a plan for their animal companions during emergencies and to put a sign on doors or windows to alert rescue workers to the presence of dogs, cats, and nonhuman loved ones. Families can order stickers from the PETA Catalog or make their own.

For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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