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Jena Malone of The Hunger Games lends a hand in the hunt for an alleged dog abuser in Los Angeles.

Jena Malone of The Hunger Games lends a hand in the hunt for an alleged dog abuser in Los Angeles.

Jena Malone, who played Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, acted after seeing a man mistreat a little puppy on a Hollywood street.

Jena Malone has proven to be the best companion of one lucky puppy.

On April 4, the 37-year-old Hunger Games star assisted in the rescue of a small leashed dog named Champion, a terrier mix, who was allegedly abused by a man on a Hollywood street. Kendall McKinney, 29, was later arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty—and had a no-bail warrant out for his arrest, according to a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department.

Malone wrote on Twitter, “This was quite frightening. On the sunset, I observed a man violently kicking a small dog, yanking him up in the air and completely suffocating the beast. I called at him from my car to stop, but he refused. I jumped out of my car to try to catch the dog, but he bolted.”

In an on-camera interview with NBC Los Angeles, the actress says that’s when she jumped into action.

“I drove over and started pursuing him,” Malone recalled, later seen with Champion in his arms. “Because it’s not acceptable.”

Amanda Edwards/Getty Images
Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

She wrote on Twitter, “As a result, I began chasing him. I observed other people on the street who were furious because they must have watched the same heinous behavior I did, so I tried to signal a man in an orange vest to join me in chasing him.”

A number of individuals confronted McKinney after observing him kicking, beating, and choking the dog, according to an LAPD official. After the man attempted to strike one of the witnesses but missed, he was punched back, and the group subdued him before calling the cops. NBC Los Angeles broadcasted video showing a group of people, including Malone, confronting the man, with two of them appearing to beat him on the ground.

“At this point, I stepped back and let them lead because I have no business trying to restrain a fully adult man,” the actress wrote on Twitter. “I returned to my car (which was still running) and drove to see if they had apprehended him.”

“I pulled over to make sure that puppy was going to be cared for,” Malone said.

“That’s why I did it,” McKinney said on video while still on the ground. “It’s my mother’s dog, and he should obey me.” He went on to say that the pet was “fine” and that “nothing was wrong with him.”

Malone wrote, “I stayed with dog till another cop came to take them to the hospital.” “The dog was filthy and appeared to have gone months without being cared for.”

Champion, who had been microchipped, was eventually reunited with his 50-year-old owner, Kelly McKinney. The dog “was AWOL for 5 days” before being rescued, according to a GoFundMe campaign set up to help pay for his medical fees.

“Many of you are familiar with his family, who are regarded as local heroes in the neighborhood as champions for the needy, hosting a food bank and donation center each week,” according to the page. “Please donate everything you can to help Champ heal as quickly as possible. The McKinney family appreciates your thoughtfulness, prayers, and donations.”

Malone will receive the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Compassionate Action Award for her efforts on Thursday, April 7. In a statement, PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange said, “When Jena discovered that a dog’s life was in jeopardy, she dropped everything to race to his rescue.” “PETA is confident that her compassion and kindness will inspire many others to speak out against animal cruelty.”