For Immediate Release:
July 25, 2023
Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – A Compassionate Action Award is on its way from PETA to local UPS driver Christopher Schwenk for his heroic deed that saved the lives of three dogs trapped inside a burning home last week after a lightning strike. The dogs’ guardians weren’t home, and when Schwenk realized that the animals were in danger, he kicked in the front door, searched the house, found the dogs, and got them out safely—an action he told PETA he would “do again in a heartbeat” and hopes others would, too. PETA hopes the same.
As Schwenk explained to PETA, he knew the Granby Street home had dogs—whom he called his “buddies”—because the house is on his route. He said he “had to step in and take action” after seeing the smoke and that another good Samaritan had participated in the rescue. PETA is seeking the identity of the other person so it can thank him as well.
“Thanks to UPS driver Christopher Schwenk’s quick, heroic actions, petrified dogs who were certainly going to perish in the flames were saved and returned to their human family,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA encourages everyone to follow his example by acting swiftly to help animals in danger, whether in a burning home, on the roadway, or anywhere at all.”
Schwenk will receive a framed certificate, an Always Root for the Underdog T-Shirt, Rescue Roast coffee, bars of vegan Chocolate to the Rescue, a Dogs in Hot Cars Emergency Window Breaking Hammer, and toys for his adopted cat and dog.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—recommends placing signs on doors and windows alerting rescue workers to the presence of dogs, cats, and other companion animals. Guardians can make their own signs or order stickers at PETA.org. To learn more about PETA and its mission to stop speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, please listen to The PETA Podcast or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.