Dog Who Helped Rescue Man From Icy Pond Wins PETA Award

For Immediate Release:
March 12, 2021

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Stoneham, Mass. – A Heroic Dog Award is on its way from PETA to a dog named Diesel, who barked to alert his guardian, Thomas Walsh, to a man who had fallen into the icy water of Quarter Mile Pond and needed help on Wednesday. Walsh immediately called 911 and then called out to two nearby hikers, and together, they used a large branch to rescue the man, who is now recovering from hypothermia.

“There’s no telling what could have happened that day without Diesel’s determination, sense of urgency, and keen senses,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA recognizes him for saving this man’s life and showing us all how to look out for one another.”

PETA notes that altruism in other animals is well documented but often overlooked because of speciesism, the misguided human-held belief that all other animals are inferior. For example, gorillas will care for human children, dolphins come to the aid of swimmers and surfers, ants help fellow colony members when they’re caught in traps or under attack from a predator, female fruit bats help each other during labor to ease birth pains, and rats will forego treats to save a fellow rat who’s drowning.

PETA is sending Walsh a framed certificate along with a “doggie bag” of toys and vegan treats for Diesel to enjoy.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way.” For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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