Firefighters Receive PETA Award for Rescuing Two Dogs and 11 Reptiles

First Responders Ensure That All Occupants Are Safely Evacuated From Burning Home

For Immediate Release:
February 11, 2015

Alexis Sadoti 202-483-7382

San Antonio – A Compassionate Fire Department Award is on its way from PETA to the San Antonio Fire Department, which responded to a house fire in the early morning of February 6 and discovered 11 illegally kept reptiles (including four vipers and a cobra) and two dogs in the burning home. The firefighters promptly whisked all 13 animals to safety, and the reptiles were safely transferred to a reptile-rescue group.

To thank the firefighters for their actions, PETA is sending the department a framed certificate, a box of vegan chocolates, and a copy of The Engine 2 Diet, an Austin firefighter’s 28-day plan for staying in prime firefighting shape by eating plant-based meals.

“The San Antonio Fire Department took a great risk to ensure that every single occupant of this home, including the surprising ones, made it to safety,” says PETA Senior Director Colleen O’Brien. “PETA hopes this dramatic rescue will inspire others to come to the aid of animals in need—and will remind everyone of the dangers of the illegal exotic-‘pet’ trade.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—has conducted investigations of the exotic-“pet” trade. One investigation of a California animal dealer revealed reptiles left to die in filth-encrusted tubs, surrounded by their own waste and the maggot-ridden remains of other animals. Reptiles also suffer when purchased by people who are unprepared to care for them properly, as PETA’s website explains.

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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