Firefighters who saved dying dog honored as video of heroic action spreads

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PETERSBURG, Va. — The heroic actions of some quick-thinking Petersburg firefighters and paramedics have gained national attention.

Days after Wayne Covil reported how firefighters used an oxygen mask, designed for humans, to save the life of a dog pulled from a burning home, national news outlets like the Huffington Post picked up the story and helped spread the news around the world. The video, of what one paramedic called a miracle,  has become the most watched clip on this year.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said it hoped the video inspires not only other first responders, but everyone to help animals. PETA said it would honor the Petersburg Fire Department with its Compassionate Fire Department Award.

"The firefighters of the Petersburg Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services are truly heroes because they don't consider their job done until all residents—no matter their species—have made it to safety,"  PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch said in a statement. "PETA hopes the compassion and know-how shown by these first responders will inspire others to come to the aid of animals in need."

In addition to a framed certificate and a letter of appreciation, PETA said it would send the fire department a batch of "delicious vegan cookies."


  • John

    Again hero’s are people that does things without being payed to do it. He is payed to do this. It’s a wonderful story, but hero , no he’s not. I think it’s stupid to put a human life on the line for a dog. Thank god the roof didn’t collapse .

    • Ann

      A dictionary defines hero as “A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life.” Examples are “soldiers or nurses” in a war situation. There is nothing that says a hero cannot be paid for what they do. Soldiers, firefighters, police officers get paid modest salaries to risk their own lives to help others. Your personal definition is wrong and irrelevant.

    • Christian

      Thank God there aren’t more people like YOU walking around in the world today, John. Are you always that callous and self-righteous or just on the days you’re awake?!

      • Paula

        I agree with John. I hope they don’t use the mask that they use on the dog on a human. Christian people has a righr to feel whatever they want.

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