Firefighters Nab PETA Award For Saving Kitten Whose Paw Was Stuck in Sewer Cover

Rescuers Carefully Sawed Open Steel Cap to Free 'Captain' the Kitten

For Immediate Release:
August 22, 2016

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Lauderdale Lakes, Fla – A Compassionate Fire Department Award is on its way from PETA to Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Engine 37 in Lauderdale Lakes in recognition of its rescue on August 11 of a crying kitten whose paw was trapped in a sewer cap on N.W. 39th Street.

After attempting to free the kitten’s paw from the cap’s 1-inch hole onsite, firefighters took the kitten—and the cap—to VCA Imperial Point Animal Hospital. There, Dr. Lara Wiseman sedated the terrified animal and Battalion Chief Jon O’Brien and firefighter Chris Hottz used a power saw and a hacksaw to cut the steel cap carefully from around the kitten’s paw, while blankets and a piece of wood served as protective barriers. The kitten, who has been named Captain by the firefighters, was treated for pain and swelling and is expected to make a full recovery—and will soon be available for adoption.

Photos courtesy of Mike Jachles / Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue.

“Engine 37 firefighters pulled out all the stops to save and arrange special care for this trapped and terrified kitten,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA hopes this story will inspire caring people everywhere to speak up and act immediately whenever an animal is in danger.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that not while this kitten will soon have a home, not all animals are so lucky. More than 6 million unwanted dogs and cats enter U.S. animal shelters every year, and roughly half are euthanized because there aren’t enough good homes for them. The best solution is to adopt animals from shelters and never buy them from breeders or pet stores—and always get them spayed or neutered.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Engine 37 will receive a framed certificate, a box of delicious vegan cookies, and a copy of The Engine 2 Diet—a Texas firefighter’s 28-day plan for staying in prime firefighting shape by eating a plant-based diet.

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