Harlem-Roscoe Firefighters Lauded for Saving Dog and Man Who Fell Through Ice

PETA Honors First Responders for Putting Lifesaving Ice-Rescue Skills to Work

For Immediate Release:
December 14, 2017

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Roscoe, Ill. – A Compassionate Fire Department Award is on its way from PETA to the Harlem-Roscoe Fire Protection District, which sprang into action on Monday when a dog named Chewy fell through the ice of a frozen Roscoe lake—and his guardian, while trying to retrieve him in a kayak, also fell in. Video footage shows Lt. Justin Mayton, in his first water rescue, helping the man back into his kayak and retrieving Chewy from the icy waters. Firefighters used a rope to tow both Lt. Mayton and Chewy back to shore, and the dog and his guardian are now doing well.

“Thanks to their technical skills and huge hearts, these firefighters quickly saved this dog and his guardian from treacherous icy waters,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “The whole department is setting an example of compassion for the world to follow, and PETA is confident that this will be the first of many successful rescues for Lt. Mayton.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”— reminds all dog guardians to make sure that their yards are secure, with sturdy fencing, no potentially poisonous plants or other dangerous materials, and no open manholes or pipes. While outdoors, guardians should walk their animal companions with a leash and a comfortable, secure harness and keep a close eye on them.

The Harlem-Roscoe Fire Protection District will receive 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.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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