CCPD Captain, wife save dog who fell out of car on I-95

BySean Evans|October 20, 2020 at 6:00 PM EDT - Updated October 21 at 11:02 AM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - They were in the right place at the right time.

A Chatham County Police Captain and his wife were able to jump into action and help a dog that had just fallen out of her owners vehicle while on Interstate 95 last Friday.

Kathi Pennypacker and her husband, along with their 4-year-old Lhasa Apso, Tasha, were heading south on I-95 Friday afternoon, when Tasha managed to free herself from her travel crate. Traveling at over 70 miles per hour, the Pennypackers say Tasha leapt out the rear passenger side window.

“We just knew that she was dead, and of course I was hysterical," said Pennypacker.

Driving a few cars back were Chatham County Police Captain Gene Harley and his wife Kelly, who saw the whole thing unfold.

“When the dog fell out, and it obviously bounced off the pavement, I kind of slammed on the brakes and veered to the right. And then the dog, really by luck or design or what have you, ran behind our car. Thankfully there was no traffic, and immediately went into the grassy area," said Harley.

The Harleys pulled over and immediately went to check on Tasha.

“He was able to grab a towel out of the back of our car and come over and scoop the dog up. And then we were able to put it on my lap in the car," said Kelly Harley.

Scraped up and bloody, the Harley’s didn’t know what shape Tasha was in, and knew they had to get her help.

Thinking quickly, the Harleys got 4-year old Tasha here to Berwick Animal Hospital. And after an examination, the doctor determined that, miraculously, she didn’t have any serious internal injuries or broken bones.

The Pennypackers had already notified police once they noticed Tasha wasn’t in the back seat, and through dispatch, the CCPD Captain was able to get their contact info to let them know where their fur baby had ended up.

“We are forever indebted to Gene and Kelly. They saved our baby," said Pennypacker.

“We’re talking to them and they’re sending us photos. And I feel like we have a true connection with them, too, now. And to me that’s also part of the heartwarming story is that we’ve developed a friendship out of this," said Kelly Harley.

It’s a much happier ending than all involved could have ever expected.

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Photo: WTOC

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