Heroic Cat to Receive PETA Award for Saving Guardian From Wildfire

PETA Hopes Award Will Be a Bright Spot as Community Tries to Heal

For Immediate Release:
December 16, 2016

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Gatlinburg, Tenn. – In honor of Tiger the rescued cat’s efforts to alert his guardian, Mark Burger, to last month’s deadly wildfire—prompting Burger to evacuate with him just in the nick of time—PETA will present him with a Heroic Cat Award on Monday:

When:    Monday, December 19, 11 a.m.

Where:    The Burger home, 1435 Wiley Oakley Dr., Unit 170, Gatlinburg

Because Burger didn’t receive an evacuation alert, he remained in Gatlinburg on the evening of November 28 as the deadly inferno came dangerously close to his home. But when the normally calm Tiger started rushing frantically between Burger and the door of the condo, Burger went outside and saw the fire approaching. He quickly put Tiger in his travel carrier, grabbed a small bag of belongings, and drove to safety. “Tiger’s very smart,” he told PETA. “If it hadn’t been for him, I probably wouldn’t have gone out and seen it … I don’t think we could’ve gotten out.”

“Fourteen people tragically lost their lives in the wildfire—but thanks to Tiger, that number didn’t climb to 15,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA is recognizing Tiger and Burger for saving each other’s lives and demonstrating just how rewarding adopting an animal can be.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—will present Tiger with a framed certificate, vegan catnip treats, and a harness with a leash to enjoy safe and secure walks outdoors. Burger will also receive window stickers that let first responders know that there are animals inside the home in case of an emergency.

Photos will be available after the award is presented. 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