Damon March, the chief operating officer of Reading-based Humane Pennsylvania, responded to Interstate 78 near the Krumsville interchange, where more than a dozen crates of live chickens fell off the back of a truck. When March got there, PennDOT crews were trying to pick up what they could.
"What I first saw when I pulled up was I could see the bodies of the chickens along the highway," March recalled. "As I approached the PennDOT team, they seemed pretty relieved, and then we just came up with a strategy for how we were going to collect all the chickens up and make sure that we had the best way to get them back to the shelter."
Part of the plan was to put them in March's car. They started rounding them up, separating out the chickens that died and putting the ones that survived back in the crates. Some walked off into the woods; others were stuck out on the road. They didn't move as fast as chickens usually do, because they were bred for production.
The ones they could rescue went to the shelter. The rides back and forth were long and the smell was almost unbearable.
"And at first you chuckled, right, because it's a pretty wild sight when you see chickens everywhere. It's like they made a jailbreak for it," remarked Tim Profit, the general manager of Savage 61 Auto. "I remember chuckling about it, and then you got into the story and it really wasn't that funny."
So many of the chickens were hurt. A few didn't even make it through the car ride. Veterinarians saved the ones they could.
Profit thought about the car that was used to save them. That's when he said he realized he could help and donated a brand new vehicle.
"I'm in a situation where the Savage Auto Group, me and the other owners, we have thousands of vehicles, right?" Profit said. "So, what's one less on our large lot if we can donate it and they can have somebody like the Humane Society that do things that you never thought actually got done?"
Harry is one of the 118 chickens that were saved that day. They are bred to live only a few months, but Harry stuck around for awhile, living more than a year after falling off that truck, and while it lasted, life was good out on the farm.