Local Police Officer Nabs PETA Award for Saving Dog From Fire

For Immediate Release:
July 27, 2023

Sara Groves 202-483-7382

Arvin, Calif.

A Compassionate Action Award is on its way from PETA to Arvin Police Department Officer Adam Calderon for his tenacity and determination in rushing into the backyard of a burning mobile home to rescue a dog tightly chained to a fence with a padlock around his neck that seemed to doom the operation.

After learning that the dog was chained in the yard, Calderon jumped a rickety 6-foot fence, found him cowering just beyond the flames, and got to work trying desperately to free him, eventually using hedge clippers. As Calderon’s body cam footage shows, the process took time and all the while, the officer comforted the scared dog with kind words as the flames threatened to overtake them.

“My back was already on fire. Whenever I was able to shelter the dog, my back was burning, and at one point I thought I was going to have to give up,” Calderon told reporters. “I just hope it motivates people to do the right thing at the right time. … And I hope any officer can put an animal ahead of his life like we put people ahead of our own lives.”

“A wall of fire and scorching heat didn’t stop Officer Calderon from fighting to save this terrified, trapped dog, and we salute him,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA encourages everyone to follow his example by never hesitating to help animals in danger and to never, ever leave a dog outside (chained up or not) or caged inside a home when they are absent.”

Because the dog was apparently chained around the clock in violation of California state law, PETA will be asking the dog’s owners to allow it to find him a new home, where he could live safely indoors and never be chained. Dogs kept penned or chained outdoors often go without adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care and are limited to the same few square feet of space day in and day out. At least 69 animals have died from heat-related causes in the U.S. just this year, even without fires blazing, and the actual number is likely far higher, as most deaths go unreported.

Calderon 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.

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.