Clay County First Responders Receive PETA Award for Rescuing Bald Eagle

PETA Honors Lifesaving Actions of Local Residents and Firefighters

For Immediate Release:
October 13, 2016

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Fleming Island, Fla. – Courtesy of PETA, awards are on their way to first responders and two local residents for their heroic rescue on Saturday of a bald eagle stuck in the grille of a car driving along U.S. 17 in Fleming Island. When Billi West and her son Zachary Bombard saw the eagle dangling dangerously from an oncoming vehicle, they quickly stopped the driver and alerted authorities. Members of Clay County Fire Rescue Stations 18 and 22 rushed to the scene and cut the grille to free the terrified bird, who was then transported to a wildlife sanctuary by West and Bombard to recover.

Clay County Fire Rescue Stations 18 and 22 will receive Compassionate Fire Department Awards, and West and Bombard will receive Compassionate Action Awards. PETA is sending each recipient a framed certificate and a box of delicious vegan cookies, and the firefighters will also receive a copy of The Engine 2 Diet—a Texas firefighter’s 28-day plan for staying in prime firefighting shape by eating plant-based meals.

“The determination and compassion of these first responders and good Samaritans likely saved this eagle from a painful, terrifying death,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA knows that their kind example will inspire others to be a hero for animals in need.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—offers tips for helping wildlife and reporting cruelty to animals on its website.

More photos from the rescue are available here. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

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.

 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