Jogger Nabs PETA Award for Jumping off Bridge to Save Dog

Video Shows Samuel Reyes Swimming With Exhausted Dog Back to Her Relieved Family's Side

For Immediate Release:
April 17, 2020

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Miami – A Compassionate Action Award is on its way from PETA to Samuel Reyes, who was jogging on the Brickell Key Bridge on Sunday when he spotted a dog who had reportedly been struggling in the water for nearly 10 minutes. Another good Samaritan was swimming toward her but was significantly farther away—so Reyes stripped down and jumped off the bridge into the water. And as his dramatic rescue video shows, he quickly reached the dog and swam with her back to her grateful family.

“Her guardian was so upset and scared—he was with his young daughter and knew he couldn’t leave his daughter to go after the dog. He was imploring anyone who could help,” Reyes told PETA. “She was so tired when I reached her. … I didn’t really think about it, I just did what had to be done. I think any able-bodied person in that situation would have done the same.”

“Samuel Reyes didn’t hesitate before literally jumping into action to save a life,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA hopes his heroism will inspire people everywhere to keep an eye out for animals in dangerous situations and do whatever it takes to get them to safety.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—reminds all dog guardians to keep their animal companions near them on walks using a leash and a comfortable, secure harness and never to leave them outdoors unattended.

Reyes will receive a framed certificate, a letter of congratulations, and a box of delicious vegan cookies. PETA would like to do the same for the other good Samaritan and invites him to come forward.

PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist view of the world. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
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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