Fire Department Nabs PETA Award for Saving Deer From Icy River

Firefighters Used Boat to Take Exhausted Animal to Shore

For Immediate Release:
December 20, 2019

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Berlin, N.H. – A Compassionate Fire Department Award is on its way from PETA to Professional Firefighters of Berlin IAFF Local 1088, which came to the aid of a deer who was trapped in ice on the Androscoggin River on Wednesday.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, it appeared that the animal had likely been there for several hours—she tried to dig herself out, but the trench had filled with snow. They traversed the extremely thin ice in a boat, and the exhausted deer didn’t struggle as they pulled her on board and took her back to shore. After a few hours of rest, she was able to walk away, apparently unharmed.

“When these firefighters saw that a deer was in trouble, they didn’t hesitate to brave the icy river to reach her,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA hopes their kindness will inspire everyone to look out for animals in need, especially during the dangerous winter months.”

Lt. Patrick Lefebvre told PETA that the department hopes to secure funding for better rescue equipment so that it can more quickly and effectively rescue animals in the future.

In addition to making a donation to the firefighters to purchase rescue equipment, PETA is sending them a framed certificate, a box of delicious vegan cookies, a letter of congratulations, and a copy of The Engine 2 Diet—a Texas firefighter’s 28-day plan for staying in prime firefighting shape by eating vegan meals.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. 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