Hiker Hero! Local Man Nabs PETA Award for Saving Missing Dog

For Immediate Release:
June 12, 2023

Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382

Breckenridge, Colo. – For rushing to the rescue of Riley, a dog who had been missing for several weeks in the Rocky Mountains, Zach Hackett will receive a Compassionate Action Award from PETA.

Hackett was hiking the remote Peak 4 trails when he heard a soft yip and was stunned to discover that it came from a weak, exhausted black-and-white dog, alone in the wilderness. It was Riley, who had disappeared from the home of his guardian, Mike Krugman, five weeks earlier. Hackett immediately scooped him up, wrapped him in a windbreaker for protection, and began a two-hour descent, navigating snow that was several feet deep. Once back in civilization, Hackett cared for Riley overnight and took him to a local animal shelter in the morning, where he was reunited with Krugman, who had been frantically searching for him and who called his rescue “a miracle.”

“Zach Hackett found a dog in need of help and didn’t hesitate to carry him on a treacherous trek back to safety,” says PETA Senior Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA is honoring him for going all-in as Riley’s guardian angel, and we encourage everyone to follow his lead and take action whenever an animal is in danger.”

Hackett will receive a framed certificate and vegan chocolates.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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