Hero to Animals Award for Woman Who Ran Into Bullring to Comfort Dying Bull

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Having to stand by while horrific things are happening to animals is not easy for anyone with compassion.

When she found herself at a bullfight, intending to film the cruelty of what happens in the ring, 38-year-old Spaniard Virginia Ruiz couldn’t do it.

She couldn’t stay in her seat and watch as the bull lay in agony at the side of the ring after being stabbed repeatedly with swords and spikes. When she heard the dying animal cry out, she impulsively jumped down into the ring to comfort him and try to shield him from further harm.

A few moments later, Virginia was violently hauled away by arena officials. But her compassionate gesture has resonated with tens of thousands of people all over the world. And for her courage, we’ve just given her a Hero to Animals Award.

She explained why she did it:

“I represent the majority of Spanish people, who are ashamed to be associated with this appalling cruelty. It doesn’t represent us. There is more to Spain than bullfighting. Bulls feel pain and suffer, just as humans do. I couldn’t leave him to die alone.”

Virginia Ruiz with dog

Virginia’s action came just days before the death of Miguel Ruiz Perez, who was gored during a bullfight. His is the fourth bull-related human death in only three days in the Spanish town of Lerín, Navarra. Eight people are known to have died in July and August after being gored by bulls during festivals across the country.

The government can’t continue to ignore the carnage. It’s time for it to protect both human and animal lives by putting in place a national ban on bullfights and bull runs. Sign our petition here.

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