If the feathers all over the car didn’t suggest something was afoot, the animated backpack likely did, according to police.
Police say they had been getting reports of several chickens and ducks being stolen from local farms, but the suspects “remained elusive.”
That changed on Sunday, when a patrolling officer spotted a “suspicious” vehicle near a farm in Seekonk, Massachusetts (just outside Rhode Island at the Massachusetts border) around 1 a.m., police said. The officer saw several chicken feathers strewn throughout the car.
The bag appeared to be “moving on its own with no explanation,” police said. A feather poked through the opening of the backpack and eventually a wing, police said. The officer ended up freeing seven chickens from the backpack, police said. The driver and a woman who was with him were arrested on charges of larceny and animal cruelty.
The animals were returned to the owner, police said.
But one of the suspects, Kyle Dupre, 20, says that may not be a good thing, WPRI-TV reported.
Dupre told the news station that he and Misty Harlow, 18, were bringing the chickens to an animal sanctuary to escape “horrific” conditions at the Seekonk farm. He claims there were “animal feces everywhere” and carcasses.
“I’m a compassionate animal lover,” Dupre said. “I thought I was doing the right thing.”
Dupre also told WPRI-TV the chickens were not in a backpack, but in the backseat of his car.
WJAR-TV reported that the owner of the farm, Richard Curzake, gave the news station a tour of the farm. No dead animals or animals covered in feces were found, the news station said.