Bozeman UPS Driver Nabs PETA Award for Saving Dog From Icy Pond

Dog Pulled From Freezing Water in Daring Rescue

For Immediate Release:
January 23, 2019

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Bozeman, Mont. – A Compassionate Action Award is on its way from PETA to UPS employee Ryan Arens for rescuing a dog named Sadie who had fallen through the ice on a frozen-over pond in Bozeman.

Arens was delivering packages in a neighborhood near the intersection of Johnson Road and S. 19th Avenue on Christmas Eve when he heard a dog “screaming and crying and going crazy.” He ran over to find the dog treading water about 10 to 15 feet from shore. A man—who happened to be a retired veterinarian—was trying to reach the dog by boat, but he was struggling to chip away at the ice between them. Arens immediately stripped to his underwear and advised the man to return to shore. He jumped into the boat and paddled toward the dog. The boat crashed through the thin ice, and Arens fell overboard. He swam the rest of the way and managed to grab the dog by her collar and scramble with her to shore. Authorities arrived soon after and reunited her with her family, who lived nearby.

“I didn’t think—I just knew what I had to do,” Arens told PETA. “The veterinarian said that 2 degrees colder and Sadie would have gone into cardiac arrest. The timing was perfect.”

“Thanks to the heroism of Ryan Arens, a panicked dog was spared a horrible death by drowning in freezing water,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA hopes his kindness and swift action will inspire everyone to come to the aid of animals in need, especially during the dangerous winter months.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—reminds all dog guardians to keep their animal companions near them on walks using a leash and a comfortable, secure harness and to keep a close eye on them when they’re outdoors.

Arens will receive a framed certificate, a letter of congratulations, and a box of vegan cookies. 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