Duluth Firefighters Nab PETA Award for Braving 8-Foot Waves to Save Dog From Frigid Lake Superior

For Immediate Release:
December 15, 2023

Sara Groves 202-483-7382

Duluth, Minn. – A Compassionate Fire Department Award is on its way from PETA to the Duluth Fire Department for rescuers’ bravery and determination in rushing into the freezing waters of Lake Superior to save a dog who had jumped into the channel near the Aerial Lift Bridge on December 7.

Guided by crew members—and the dog’s frantic guardian, who shined portable lights from the pier—firefighters in ice-rescue suits fought through 8-foot waves to find the dog, who kept dipping below the water’s surface. After crew members managed to get hold of his collar, they were swept up by the waves, but a rescue team with an inflatable boat was able to pull them to safety. Once on dry land, the dog quickly stopped shivering and was even wagging his tail as he jumped into the car of his relieved guardian.

A city spokesperson told PETA that the Duluth Fire Department makes an effort to treat each animal the same as they would any person in need and that it has oxygen masks made just for cats and dogs.

Video footage captured the moment rescuers and the dog passed under the Ariel Lift Bridge. Credit: Duluth Fire Department

“Duluth’s firefighters didn’t hesitate to jump into action and plunge into the raging, freezing waters of Lake Superior to help save an animal from a terrifying death,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA hopes their brave actions inspire people everywhere to step up and 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”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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