Las Vegas Family Nabs PETA Award for Freeing Fox From Trap

For Immediate Release:
March 8, 2022

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Las Vegas – A Compassionate Action Award is on the way from PETA to the Vaske family—parents Bobby and Jessica, their two kids, and their two dogs—who were hiking together west of Centennial Parkway on January 9 when the dogs began barking an alert: They had discovered a fox, yelping in distress, with his paw stuck in a baited steel-jaw trap directly outside his den. As Bobby later explained, “To me, it was like killing that animal myself if I didn’t do something”—so he drove back home for rescue supplies, and together, he and Jessica used a laundry basket to hold the fox in place while they worked his paw free from the trap, allowing him to run back into his den.

“If the Vaskes hadn’t intervened, this fox could have died a slow, terrifying, and agonizing death in the trap that was set up directly on his doorstep,” says PETA Senior Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA is honoring this compassionate family for saving a vulnerable animal and inspiring others to keep an eye out for wildlife in danger.”

One of the Vaske dogs set off a second trap but, fortunately, was unharmed. Every year, 10 million raccoons, coyotes, and other fur-bearing wild animals—as well as numerous dogs, cats, and birds—are caught in steel-jaw traps, which slam shut on the animals’ limbs, cutting into their flesh. Trapped animals struggle for hours and sometimes days before they succumb to exhaustion, exposure, or shock or trappers arrive to shoot or bludgeon them to death.

The Vaskes will receive a framed certificate, delicious vegan cookies, and vegan dog treats.

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 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