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

Posted at 7:44 AM, Oct 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-21 08:14:47-04

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 WTVR.com 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."