For most pigs, chickens, cows, and other farmed animals, entering a transport truck means that their lives will soon be over. These trucks are usually taking them to slaughter, and their final hours or days are some of their most harrowing. Many are forced to spend long hours in crowded trailers or stacked crates without food or water. The conditions are so horrific that, according to a recent analysis, more than 20 million animals die in the United States each year before reaching their destination.
Countless animals have attempted to escape these horrible conditions. While many of their stories end in tragedy, for some animals, the risk pays off. Here are five inspirational stories of brave animals who risked everything to escape transport trucks—and succeeded.
1. Amazing Anthony
Anthony, a three-month-old piglet, broke his leg jumping from a transport truck in southern Ohio. A kind stranger rescued him from the highway and brought him to the Good Shepherd Animal Sanctuary in Neapolis. There, Elle “Christine” Cox, founder and CEO of the sanctuary, tended to Anthony in her home—even waking every two hours throughout the night to make sure he was all right!
2. Brilliant Bella
Bella, a pregnant cow used for dairy, was on her way to slaughter when the driver lost control of the truck and it overturned. While a dozen cows initially escaped, all but five were rounded up and continued their journey to slaughter. Of the remaining five cows, one was hit by a truck, others were shot dead, and one disappeared. But Bella was lucky! After evading capture for nearly a month, she was lured into a barn by volunteers and brought to SASHA animal sanctuary in Manchester, Michigan.
3. Miraculous Marley
At just two weeks old, tiny Marley the pig was small enough to escape the transport truck taking her to be “fattened up” for slaughter. A kind stranger picked her up off the side of the road and brought her to animal services. Eventually, she wound up at Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary in Gainesville, Florida, where she became best friends with a rescue bull named Eli.
4. Fierce Frank Lee
Frank Lee the bull was on his way to a slaughterhouse in Queens, New York, when he leapt out of the truck and ran to nearby York College. However, he was soon captured by the NYPD and transported to Animal Care Centers of NYC in Brooklyn. Luckily for Frank, celebrity couple Jon and Tracey Stewart heard his story and negotiated his voluntary release! The Stewarts drove from New Jersey to Brooklyn just to pick up Frank, and he spent a weekend at their home before finally arriving at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen.
5. Brave Beatrice
Talkative little Beatrice the hen was on her way to slaughter when her crate fell off a transport truck in Pennsylvania. A total of 74 chickens not only survived the crash but were rescued! Beatrice and her friends Helga, Gertrude, Rose, Helen, Eloise, and Irene all found homes at Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary. Today, Beatrice enjoys sunbathing, feather preening, and chatting with kind humans.
While these stories all have happy endings, we cannot forget about the millions of other animals suffering and dying on transport trucks. Please join Mercy For Animals in calling on the USDA and Department of Transportation to modernize U.S. animal transport laws by providing species-appropriate space, rest time, food, water, and protection from extreme temperatures! Join us at MercyForAnimals.org/Transport.
Cover Photo: Seb Alex / We Animals Media