WAUWATOSA — A Wauwatosa man was recognized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Monday for his heroic act of rescuing a dog from a house fire on Sept. 22.
Joe Loduha, a local carpenter and former EMT, was headed to work when he saw smoke billowing from a house. After speaking to a neighbor, Loduha learned that there was a dog still inside the smoke-filled house.
After no one responded to his knocking at the door, Loduha kicked open the door and grabbed Darma, the 50-pound dog, off the couch and brought her safely outside. Loduha then went back inside the residence to make sure no one else was still inside.
Loduha said he was just acting on instinct that day and doesn't feel he did anything out of the ordinary given the situation.
"I don't think I did anything that anyone else wouldn't have done," Loduha told PETA. "All I knew was that as soon as I heard there was a dog inside, I had to get in there. I am a huge dog lover."
Loduha was treated with oxygen and Darma was eventually reunited with her grateful guardian, who returned to the scene and immediately checked on the well-being of Darma rather than the well-being of his house and belongings.
"Joe Loduha risked his own life to save a dog he'd never met," said PETA Vice President Colleen O'Brien. "He is a hero, and PETA hopes his selflessness will inspire people everywhere to do whatever it takes to help an animal in need."
For his brave efforts, Loduha will receive a framed certificate and a box of vegan cookies from PETA. Loduha has asked others to consider donating to help Darma and her guardian recover from the house fire.