Animal Rescue Awards



Animals suffer from human use and abuse even in times of peace and plenty – and they suffer all the more in times of war and natural disaster. All around the world, brave and compassionate people are helping animals in need, making personal sacrifices with little recognition.

Since 2016, the Gregory J. Reiter Memorial Fund has partnered with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to present an annual award to an organization or individual doing exceptional work to rescue animals from abuse, neglect, or military conflict.

Awardees to date have been:


2023: Animal Rescue Kharkiv — for working on the ground in Ukraine, from the first days of Russia's full-scale invasion, to shelter and rehome thousands of displaced animals, administer veterinary care to injured animals, and distribute millions of pounds of animal food in collaboration with PETA Germany.


2022:  Helga Tacreiter — for founding the New Jersey-based Cow Sanctuary and dedicating more than 30 years of her life to rescuing dozens of cows and other farmed animals — while inspiring people to value those animals’ lives as they value the lives of their dog and cat companions.

Sheila and Ingrid

2021:  Sheila Choi --  for founding and leading the Fuzzy Pet Foundation since 2005, providing spay and neuter services to more than 6,000 cats and dogs, and rescuing and rehoming more than 2,000 animals, in the Los Angeles region and beyond.

Alysoun and Julia Vertical

2020: Julia Novak -  for 10 years of volunteer work with PETA -- fostering rescued animals with special needs (including Itchy, who Greg and I adopted), helping PETA’s Community Animal Project fieldworkers serve animals in impoverished communities, participating in PETA protests and work parties, and coordinating vigils for factory-farmed pigs at a Smithfield slaughterhouse.


2019: Paulette Dean -  for 27 years as Danville Area Humane Society Executive Director, and accomplishments including passing one of Virginia's strictest anti-tethering ordinances.

Greg-Reiter-Award_NYC-Fundraiser-2018 (1)

2018: Stacey Norris - Houses of Wood & Straw for building over 1,000 doghouses for backyard dogs in Central Virginia.


2017: Virginia Beach SPCA for offering shelter and care for over 4,000 companion animals each year.


2016: Katie McCotter of Suffok, Virginia for fostering horses, pigs, chickens and other homeless animals.