Firefighters Nab PETA Award for Rescuing Dog From Expressway

Speedy Pup Was Recovered and Reunited With His Guardian

For Immediate Release:
July 22, 2020

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Washington – A Compassionate Fire Department Award is on its way from PETA to Montgomery County Fire & Rescue after firefighters saved Astro, a little dog who escaped onto I-495 on Friday after his guardian was involved in a collision and taken to the hospital.

Helicopter footage shows that Astro ran as fast as he could straight toward traffic—and even under a car. Firefighters chased him down the expressway, dodging vehicles, and off the road and into a wooded area, where they were finally able to capture him. “The job is to protect everybody—animals and people,” said firefighter Zach Horchar. They later reunited Astro with his guardian.

“This car crash could have ended in tragedy, but these firefighters didn’t give up until this little dog was safe and sound,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA hopes their kindness and tenacity will inspire everyone to do whatever it takes when an animal is in danger.”

Montgomery County Fire & Rescue will receive a framed certificate, a box of vegan cookies, and a copy of The Engine 2 Diet—a Texas firefighter’s 28-day plan for staying in prime shape by eating vegan meals.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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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