Bangor Firefighters Receive PETA Award for Rescuing Fish From Burning Building

First Responders Reunite Young Boy With Animal Companion

For Immediate Release:
May 6, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Bangor, Maine – Courtesy of PETA, a Compassionate Fire Department Award is on its way to the Bangor Fire Department for coming to the aid of a young boy’s fish, who was trapped inside a burning home. When the boy realized that his beloved fish was still inside, firefighters rushed back into the house to retrieve the tank, which was covered with soot. The fish appears to have survived the ordeal with no injuries.

“Fish feel pain, just as dogs, cats, and humans do—and thanks to these firefighters, this fish escaped the burning home unharmed,” says PETA Senior Director Colleen O’Brien. “PETA hopes their kindness and determination will inspire others to come to the aid of animals in need, whether they have fur or fins.”

Studies have shown that fish can recognize individuals, use tools, and maintain complex social relationships. They also communicate with one another through a range of low-frequency sounds and grieve when family members and companions die.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—encourages animal guardians to put a sign on doors or windows to alert rescue workers to the presence of all animals in the home. Families can order stickers from the PETA Catalog or make their own.

The Bangor Fire Department will 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 a plant-based diet.

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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