Police, Good Samaritans Named PETA’s Animal Rescuers of the Year

Honors Go to Runner Who Freed Trapped Deer, Bus Driver Who Rescued Turtle, Divers Who Untangled Shark From Fishing Line, and Many Others

For Immediate Release:
December 20, 2019

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va.

PETA is marking the end of 2019 with a first-of-its-kind roundup of PETA’s Animal Rescuers of the Year—the first responders and other people who made extraordinary efforts to save imperiled animals’ lives.

Award winners include Tanya Krasuin of Mission, British Columbia, Canada, for freeing a skunk whose head was stuck inside a plastic Burger King cup; Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Tolliver of Orange County, Florida, for pulling a puppy out of an abandoned, flooded car during Hurricane Dorian and then adopting her; and Chloe Dorsey of Stone Mountain, Georgia, for rescuing a deer who got stuck between the metal bars of a fence—twice. A complete list is available here.

“From dogs and cats to deer and skunks, animals in trouble found friends in these compassionate people,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “All of PETA’s top rescuers are setting an example of the right way to treat animals in the new year and beyond.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—asks everyone to keep an eye out for animals in need and to alert authorities if the situation can’t be easily resolved. Being a hero to animals can be as simple as encouraging a neighbor to take their chained dog indoors, freeing an animal stuck in fishing line or a discarded container, or adopting an animal companion from a shelter instead of buying one from a breeder or pet store.

Other top rescuers include Yaghnam Yaghnam of Milwaukee, who stopped his bus to rescue a turtle from the middle of the road; divers Randel Sands and Ron Nash of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida, who untangled a nurse shark from fishing line; and New York City Police Department officers Anthony Picariello and Christopher Mazzella, who stopped a train to save a goat who had escaped from a slaughterhouse—and took him for veterinary treatment rather than returning him to the slaughterhouse.

Each of the rescuers will receive an award certificate; a Merry-Mint Cocoa and Mug Gift Set; PETA’s 2020 “Rescued” calendar; a reusable, collapsible straw from FinalStraw; and a box of Divine Treasures’ Divine Kingdom vegan chocolates.

PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or click here.

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