San Antonio Woman Nabs PETA Award for Confronting Dog Dumper

Good Samaritan Notifies Authorities, Films Viral Video

For Immediate Release:
May 8, 2018

Contact:
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

San Antonio – A Compassionate Action Award is on its way from PETA to San Antonio resident Edith Melendez, who confronted a woman abandoning five dogs at the end of her street, filmed the interaction in a video that subsequently went viral, and ensured that the dogs were taken to a local animal shelter.

On the morning of April 13, Melendez glanced out of her window and saw an unfamiliar car heading to the end of her street—an area notoriously used for dumping animals. The car pulled over, and Melendez—who fosters animals and has two dogs herself—witnessed a woman begin to remove the collars of five dogs and push the animals out of the car. Melendez went outside and, while recording the incident on video, cautiously approached the car in order to confront the people inside. The car quickly sped away, and she stayed with the dogs, called 311, and waited until Animal Care Services arrived to round them up and take them to the shelter. She uploaded the video to Facebook, and it instantly went viral, prompting the dogs’ guardian—who’d reportedly enlisted her friends to abandon the animals—to come forward and agree to pay the fines to surrender them.

“Those considering bringing a dog or cat into their home should make sure they’re ready for the long-term commitment and should always have their animal fixed, which would go a long way [toward] preventing animal neglect and abandonment, which we see so often in our community,” Melendez told PETA.

“Edith Melendez acted quickly and compassionately to save several confused dogs who were being left to fend for themselves when they should have been protected by their family,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA hopes her actions will inspire caring people everywhere to speak up and act immediately to stop animal neglect and abuse.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—urges everyone to report cruelty to animals whenever it’s seen or suspected and offers tips for doing so on its website.

Melendez will receive a framed certificate and a box of delicious vegan cookies.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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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