Dog Receives PETA Award for Saving Man Who Was Having a Heart Attack

Adopted Dog Alerted Guardian to Elderly Man's Plight and Stayed by His Side Until Paramedics Arrived

For Immediate Release:
December 9, 2014

Alexis Sadoti 202-483-7382

Windsor, Ont. – On November 30, Windsor resident Rob Sheardown was reportedly perplexed when his always obedient dog, Bella, refused to enter his building’s elevator after a walk, instead forcefully pulling Sheardown into the building’s lobby. There, Sheardown discovered an elderly man lying behind a sofa who was suffering from a heart attack. Sheardown promptly called 911, and Bella lay down beside the man with her paw on his arm until the paramedics arrived and rushed him to the hospital for treatment. For her part in saving the man’s life, Bella will receive a Heroic Dog Award from PETA.

Bella was adopted from an animal shelter in July. “Everybody’s amazed,” Sheardown says, “just amazed at her!”

“As Bella demonstrated by leaps and bounds, dogs are intelligent and sensitive beings capable of just as much kindness to strangers as humans are,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “Shelters are overflowing with lovable dogs just like Bella, and PETA hopes her clever and loving act will inspire people eager to open their home to a new animal friend to head to their local shelter.”

PETA is sending Bella a framed certificate and a “doggie” bag complete with an eco-friendly squeaky toy, a Nylabone, a comfortable harness to wear on walks, and a box of vegan dog treats.

PETA’s gift is an acknowledgment of the many rewards of sharing our lives with animal companions—and the importance of valuing their devotion by becoming the best guardians possible. The group—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—encourages anyone with the time, willingness, ability, and resources to care for a dog properly to adopt from a shelter rather than contributing to the homeless-animal crisis by buying from a breeder or a pet store.

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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