Animals Show Love to Their Rescuers on Firefighter Appreciation Day

For Immediate Release:
April 27, 2021

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va.

In honor of Firefighter Appreciation Day (May 4), PETA is looking back on some of its favorite Compassionate Fire Department Award recipients for their remarkable efforts to save animals:

  • Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service (Gaithersburg, Maryland) firefighters chased down and saved Astro, a little dog who ran onto the highway and into the woods after a car crash.
  • Professional Firefighters of Berlin IAFF Local 1088 (Berlin, New Hampshire) used a boat to reach a deer who had fallen through the ice on the Androscoggin River and took her back to shore.
  • Cobb County Fire Department (Marietta, Georgia) firefighters saved six rabbits from an apartment fire and provided them with oxygen via a specially designed mask.
  • Bessemer Fire Department (Bessemer, Alabama) firefighters crawled through a burning, smoke-filled home to rescue a dog named Tide who had taken refuge under a mattress.
  • Kuttawa Fire Department (Kuttawa, Kentucky) firefighters consoled a dog named Lucky after a highway crash that killed a passenger and required his guardian to be airlifted to the hospital.
  • Rochester Fire Department (Rochester, Minnesota) firefighters used ice rescue equipment to save a dog from drowning in a partially frozen lake.

Top: Montgomery County Fire and Rescue (Gaithersburg, MD), Professional Firefighters of Berlin IAFF Local 1088 (Berlin, NH); middle: Cobb County Fire Department (Marietta, GA), Bessemer Fire Department (Bessemer, AL); bottom: Kuttawa Fire Department (Kuttawa, KY), Rochester Fire Department (Rochester, MN). All photos courtesy of their respective fire departments. (High-resolution photos are available here.)

“These brave firefighters didn’t let the hottest fires or the iciest waters stop them from aiding animals in need,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA is celebrating these heroes for helping the most vulnerable members of our communities and setting an example of compassion for everyone to follow.”

PETA reminds animal guardians to keep dogs leashed at all times while on walks, particularly near bodies of water, and to have an emergency plan for their animal companions, including having carriers ready to grab in case of fires or other emergencies. Families are encouraged to watch PETA’s fire-safety video and post signs on their doors or windows in order to alert rescue workers to the presence of dogs, cats, and other animal companions in the home. Guardians can order stickers from the PETA Shop or make their own.

Recipients of PETA’s Compassionate Fire Department Award receive 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 prime firefighting shape by eating vegan meals.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.