Alysoun and Julia Side by Side

Congratulations to Julia Novak, winner of PETA’s 5th annual Gregory J. Reiter Animal Rescue Award!

I am proud to share this PETA blog post and video of our June 2020 virtual award presentation.

Greg and I met Julia on August 16, 2013 — I vividly recall that day. We had decided to adopt Itchy, a wonderful PETA rescue dog she had been fostering — whose gusto for life belied his advanced years and illness. Julia drove 400 miles round trip to deliver Itchy to us, and I will never forget the tears she wiped from her eyes as she bid him farewell. 

Itchy was just one of many special needs animals Julia has fostered, during more than ten years as a PETA volunteer. She has regularly joined PETA’s Community Animal Project fieldworkers to help animals in impoverished communities. She has been a mainstay at PETA protests and volunteer work parties, and she has coordinated vigils for factory-farmed pigs at a Smithfield slaughterhouse.

Julia is also the proud mom of a 4-year-old named West, who helps her pass out animal rights leaflets and encourages everyone he meets to go vegan.

Previous Greg Award recipients have been Danville Area Humane Society executive director Paulette Dean (2019), Houses of Wood & Straw founder Stacey Norris (2018), the Virginia Beach SPCA (2017), and Katie McCotter (2016).

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