Petersburg Fire Department Receives PETA Award for Saving Dog’s Life

Rescue Workers Use Oxygen Mask to Revive Animal Overcome by Smoke

For Immediate Release:
October 20, 2014

Alexis Sadoti 202-483-7382

Petersburg, Va. – On October 9, fire crews from the Petersburg Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services responded to a house fire, and after being alerted by the homeowner that her canine companion, Keiser, was still inside, crews pulled the nearly 90-pound dog from the blaze. He was unresponsive as a result of smoke inhalation. Thinking quickly, firefighters used an oxygen mask designed for humans, which fit over the large dog’s mouth, and the rescuers were able to resuscitate him after several tense minutes.

For their efforts in saving Keiser, the department will receive PETA’s Compassionate Fire Department Award.

“The firefighters of the Petersburg Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services are truly heroes because they don’t consider their job done until all residents—no matter their species—have made it to safety,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA hopes the compassion and know-how shown by these first responders will inspire others to come to the aid of animals in need.”

EMS rescue workers from the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew supplied the oxygen mask used to save Keiser’s life, and the group has stated that it will be ordering masks designed for animals for all of its ambulances. Residents can consider donating animal oxygen masks to any fire stations that don’t have them, as these masks can make a lifesaving difference for dogs and cats pulled from a blaze.

PETA encourages all animal guardians to put a sign on doors or windows to alert rescue workers to the presence of dogs and cats. Families can order stickers from the PETA Catalog or make their own.

The fire department will receive a framed certificate, a letter of appreciation, and some delicious vegan cookies from PETA.

For more information, please visit

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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