PETA is honoring the firefighters who rescued a cow on Monday from a frozen Cabarrus County pond.
The animal welfare group is giving the Mount Pleasant Fire Department one of its framed Compassionate Fire Department awards, a letter of congratulations, “delicious vegan jerky” and a copy of “The Engine 2 Diet,” the organization said Thursday. The diet is a Texas firefighter's 28-day plan for staying in prime firefighting shape by eating vegan meals.
The firefighters “sprang into action” after a farmer saw all of the cows in his pasture staring at the frozen pond, PETA said. A cow named Julie had fallen through the ice, only its head above water.
Thousands of viewers watched on Facebook Live as TV news helicopter crews filmed the two-hour rescue on Blackwelder Road.
Mount Pleasant Engine 1 and Rescue 1 used a large raft, a sledgehammer and a chainsaw to slice through at least 10 inches of ice and 12 feet of water to reach Julie, according to PETA. The firefighters finally guided her to land with ropes.
“These brave firefighters didn’t hesitate to help this cow escape from her life-threatening predicament,” PETA vice president Colleen O’Brien said, adding that PETA is willing to get the cow to a sanctuary “to live out the rest of her days in peace.”
“Any time a life’s involved, whether it be an animal or a person, we do anything we (can) to make the best of it,” PETA quoted Mount Pleasant Deputy Chief Dustin Sneed as saying.