York Police Department Awarded for Saving Skunk Stuck in Cup

PETA Praises Police Officer Who Freed Skunk, Urges Everyone to Replace Lids, Crush Cups and Cans

For Immediate Release:
October 5, 2017

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

York, Maine – A Compassionate Police Department Award is on its way from PETA to the York Police Department after Officer David McKinnon came to the aid of a skunk whose head was stuck inside a McDonald’s cup. McKinnon was on motorcycle patrol at around 1:30 a.m. on September 24 when he noticed the struggling animal in a parking lot near the beach, pulled over, and managed to pull the tightly stuck cup from his or her head. The skunk stared at him before running off into the woods, unhurt. Video footage of the rescue is available here.

“This compassionate police officer was likely the only hope for this skunk in dire straits, who could easily have experienced a miserable death by starvation, dehydration, or being hit by a car,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA reminds everyone to replace the lids on jars and to crush cans and cups before disposing of them to protect animals from getting their heads trapped inside.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—has tips on its website for living in harmony with wildlife and properly disposing of trash, such as by keeping all garbage in tightly sealed chew-proof containers, rinsing out aluminum cans and putting the tops inside so that they can’t cut an animal’s tongue, crushing cans and cups, and cutting open empty cardboard and plastic containers so that small animals can’t get their faces or heads caught inside them.

The York Police Department will receive a framed certificate, a box of delicious vegan cookies, and copies of PETA’s posters reminding everyone to replace lids and crush all cans and containers.

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