For Immediate Release:
January 19, 2024
Sara Groves 202-483-7382
Georgetown Charter Township, Mich. – A Compassionate Fire Department Award is on its way from PETA to the Georgetown Township Fire Department in recognition of rescuers’ bravery and determination in saving a dog who had fallen through the ice into Cedar Lake East on Monday.
The dog, named Hazel, was struggling to stay afloat about 20 feet from shore. Wearing a rescue suit, Georgetown Township Dive Rescue Team member Jereme VandenHeuvel waded through the chest-deep water to reach Hazel and wrap her in his arms. His teammates used ropes to tow the pair back to land, and although Hazel had ice accumulating on her face and nose and immediately collapsed to the ground, she was reunited with her relieved guardian and is recovering well.
A news article about the rescue quoted VandenHeuvel as saying, “A life is a life. If it’s a dog or a human, we’re thinking the same mode.”
Photos courtesy of Georgetown Charter Township Fire Department
“This dog was minutes away from a terrifying death, but thanks to the Georgetown Township firefighters’ compassion and quick action, she’s safe back at home with her family,” says PETA Senior Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA hopes these rescuers’ bravery will inspire people everywhere to always help when they see an animal in need.”
The department will receive a framed certificate and vegan chocolates from PETA.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.