Response Teams to Receive Award for Dangerous Rescue of Dog Stranded in Rushing River

Frightened Animal Stuck on Nooksack River Bank Is Now Recovering and Up for Adoption

For Immediate Release:
March 11, 2016

Lakisha Ridley 202-483-7382

Bellingham, Wash. – A Compassionate Action Award and some delicious vegan cookies are on their way from PETA to the Washington State Animal Response Team and Summit to Sound Search & Rescue for saving a dog stranded along the Nooksack River.

On Saturday afternoon, passersby called for help after seeing a dog wandering in the woods. Rescue teams arrived to find the frightened animal on a steep slope of the riverbank and carried him down the dangerous terrain. They put a lifejacket on him and transported him in a raft with a rescuer named Marcia. Because of the rough currents, the two fell in the rushing waters, but Marcia managed to hold the raft with one hand and keep the dog’s head above water with the other.

“These rescue teams’ refusal to give up on this terrified dog likely saved him from starvation or drowning,” says PETA Senior Director Colleen O’Brien. “PETA hopes caring people everywhere will be inspired by their example and always come to the aid of animals in need.”

The dog, now named Cliff, was taken to a veterinarian, who found him to be underweight but determined that he had no major injuries. He is recovering at the Whatcom Humane Society and is available for adoption.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—urges everyone to be prepared to help animals in need by keeping an emergency rescue kit in the car. It should include a carrier, leash, towel, and water bowl, as well as pop-top cans of food and contact information for local rescue authorities.

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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