With a heart of gold and nerves of steel, an officer in Arvin, California vaulted over a fence and worked amid blazing heat to save a chained dog from a raging fire.
Chained just outside a burning mobile home, Officer Calderon comforted the dog with kind words before eventually using hedge clippers to free the pooch, all the while protecting the dog with his own body.
Hearing about Calderon’s heroics, recorded in a 6-minute section of body cam footage, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) decided to present the man with their Compassionate Action Award.
“His heroic actions are well-deserving of recognition. We want to honor him for his heroic actions and to encourage others to do the same. Ashley Byrne is PETA’s Director of Outreach Communications.
The process of freeing the dog started after Calderon used his strength to clamber over a rickety 6-foot fence. Calderon’s dog initially ran from him, scared. He then used the chain to pull it closer to himself while he struggled to find a way to untangle it.
At first, he tried to bend a pin holding two sections of chain apart, but it wouldn’t budge. He then coaxed the dog into hiding behind a horizontal sink or kitchen in the backyard, and he was able scratch behind its ears.
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Calderon pushed the sink closer to the wooden fence behind it, creating a shield to protect the dog from the heat of the fire while trying to break through the fence and allow the dog to go into the adjacent property.
The smart dog understood what was going on and went through the passageway when it had been created. Calderon discovered a pair hedge clippers in the yard of his neighbor, which allowed him finally to free the dog.
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“My back was already on fire. Whenever I was able to shelter the dog, my back was burning, and at one point I thought I was going to have to give up,” Calderon said in an interview with Eyewitness News.
“A wall of fire and scorching heat didn’t stop Officer Calderon from fighting to save this terrified, trapped dog, and we salute him,” said PETA President Ingrid Newkirk.
WATCH the raw footage below BUT beware of profanity…