Chickens Spill onto Interstate 81

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DUNMORE -- A truck hauling crates of chickens lost some of its load this morning along Interstate 81 in Dunmore.

Thing is, the truck driver didn't know what happened and kept going.

The truck lost more than 20 crates full of chickens. PennDOT said the truck was headed north on Interstate 81 in Dunmore Thursday morning in the area known as "the split."

Crews were called out to pick up all the chickens, and then, had to figure out what to do with all 200 of them.

Folks at the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter near Clarks Summit were faced with a dilemma when PennDOT workers dropped off more than 200 chickens. So, the shelter made do, spots usually used by dogs and cats became a chicken coop.

"Well, we don't really house livestock here and we don't get them very often," said Human Officer Jessica Best.

Best says the chickens were probably headed for a plate, not the shelter. And, they can stay at the shelter as long as needed. They won't be put up for adoption like all of the other pets.

Instead, officials hope to get the chickens to area farms where they can be best taken care of. Since, many of them were in rough shape when they wound up at the shelter.

"Some of them were already deceased, road rashed, bloody, broken toes, things like that," added Best.

This whole ordeal started on Interstate 81 in Dunmore where PennDOT officials say, apparently, the poultry fell off the back of a truck going northbound.

"This is not something that's part of our protocol as to what you do with hundreds of chickens that are along side the road. So, our foreman, I think he reacted in a very responsible way," said PennDOT spokesman James May.

The PennDOT foreman charged with cleaning up the chicken crates thought the best thing to do was to drop the birds off at the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter.

By the time crews went to the Interstate, the truck the chickens were on was long gone.

"There has to be a truck driver somewhere who got to his destination and looked in the back of the truck and realized that they were missing a number of crates that had chickens in them," added May.

PennDOT says no one was hurt recovering the crates from the Interstate.