BEAR LAKE, Utah — A week after a Utah family’s video of them rescuing a frozen feline on Thanksgiving Day was featured on FOX 13 News, PETA is recognizing one of those family members with the Compassionate Action Award.
FOX 13 News first spoke with the Bingham family about the rescue on December 2, and they shared footage of them rescuing the cat and providing chest compressions to revive the frigid animal near a fire.
According to a press release from PETA sent Tuesday, Justin Bingham is receiving the Compassionate Action Award for performing CPR on the kitten after it was found lying in the snow.
"I caught him right on the edge of death," stated Bingham, a former veterinary student, in the press release from PETA. "He had hypothermia. I knew I had to get him inside to warm him up and rub his tummy to pump his blood flow to get oxygen back in his body."
"I walked up to it, and it was just a frozen little snowball,” Branden Bingham told FOX 13 on December 2 of finding the kitten. "There was not a pulse, there was no heartbeat, there was no breathing, it was lifeless, it was cold and lifeless."
After performing CPR for more than an hour, the kitten was revived. Given the name Lazarus, the cat has since been adopted by Bingham's cousin.
"I kind of assumed if I gently started pumping its chest, and get the heart moving and rubbing it--things like that--it would start the blood flow and eventually bring the cat back," Justin Bingham told FOX 13.
"Thanks to Mr. Bingham's kindness and persistence, this kitten has a new chance at life," stated PETA Senior Director Colleen O'Brien. "PETA encourages caring people everywhere to take this story as inspiration to come to the aid of animals in need."
PETA states they are sending a framed certificate and a box of vegan cookies to Bingham, and they are also including treats for Lazarus.
The release states: "PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to abuse in any way"—also reminds all cat guardians that the safest place for their companions is indoors. Cats who are allowed to roam outdoors endure all weather extremes and may catch diseases such as feline AIDS, be hit by cars, or even be hurt by cruel people. All animal companions, including cats, should be escorted outdoors on a leash and a safe, secure harness."
A PDF from PETA shows a copy of the certificate Bingham will receive.