Sheriff’s Office Nabs PETA Award for Rescuing Dog From Burning SUV

For Immediate Release:
February 8, 2022

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Douglas County, Colo. – A Compassionate Police Department Award is on its way from PETA to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office after Deputy Michael Gregorek rescued a dog named Hank from a smoke-filled vehicle.

Gregorek’s body cam footage shows him arriving on the scene on January 22—and the second that Hank’s frantic guardian told him a dog was trapped in the burning car, Gregorek sprang into action: He broke through two of the SUV’s windows with his baton, pulled Hank out, and carried him away from the smoke. A neighbor gave Gregorek some water to help him recover from smoke inhalation—and another neighbor, a veterinarian, checked out Hank and determined that he was OK.

In an interview posted by the Sheriff’s Office, Gregorek explained, “I would have done the same thing whether it be baby, human, dog, cat—a life is a life, and you kind of treat it as such in a situation like that.”

“When Deputy Gregorek heard that a dog was in danger, he reached right into a burning car to save that animal’s life,” says PETA Senior Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA hopes his selflessness and quick thinking will inspire others to step in and help whenever an animal is in danger.”

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will receive a framed certificate and boxes of delicious vegan cookies.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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