Newport Beach Firefighters Receive PETA Award for Daring Double Rescue

Firefighter Rappels Down Cliff to Reach Stranded Dog and the Guardian Who Tried to Rescue Her

For Immediate Release:
November 12, 2015

Lakisha Ridley 202-483-7382

Newport Beach, Calif. – PETA’s Compassionate Fire Department Award is on its way to the Newport Beach Fire Department, which sprang into action on Friday afternoon after local resident Ashley Engle became stranded on a ledge more than 50 feet up a steep ravine while trying to rescue her dog, Luna. The 5½-month-old puppy went missing during a walk after she was spooked by another dog and ran off. Engle searched for hours until she spotted Luna, who had climbed up the ravine and become stranded on a ledge. Engle climbed up after her but became stuck as well. A firefighter rappelled down the cliff, fit Engle with a harness, and lifted both her and Luna up to safety.

“This dog is lucky to have such a caring and brave guardian, and thanks to the Newport Beach Fire Department’s determination and know-how, both of them made it safely home,” says PETA Senior Director Colleen O’Brien. “PETA hopes their story will inspire others to come to the aid of animals in need.”

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 with a leash and a comfortable, secure harness and to keep a close eye on them when they’re outside.

PETA is sending Luna a new leash and harness and a box of vegan dog treats, along with a box of delicious vegan cookies for Engle to enjoy. The Newport Beach Fire Department will also receive vegan cookies as well as a framed certificate and a copy of The Engine 2 Diet—a Texas firefighter’s 28-day plan for staying in prime firefighting shape by eating a plant-based diet.

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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