It's Happening: With Hundreds of Animals in Tow, Dan Riggs Goes Above and Beyond

By Julie Perine on October 15, 2017 from It’s Happening via

Dan Riggs has towed thousands of vehicles.
He’s also transported quite a few dogs, cats, exotic birds and even show horses.
When there is a vehicle accident or breakdown, Riggs receives calls for his services. If the vehicle is inoperable, it many times needs to be towed and there are sometimes pets inside those cars.
“It happens more often than you might think. Over the years, there has been about every kind of animal,” said the owner of Dan Riggs Towing.
During recent Hurricane Irma, a Florida resident was traveling north, seeking refuge from the approaching storm. He ended up crashing his vehicle on I-79 and Riggs ended up kitten sitting.
“He had left his place, grabbing a bag of clothes and his kitten,” Riggs said. “He was near Lost Creek when he fell asleep and hit a bridge. It was a pretty bad wreck.”
The car had to be towed and the driver, who was uninjured, needed transportation for the remainder of his trip.
“I took him to Enterprise to get a rental car and he asked if I could watch his cat. He said she wouldn’t bother me, but the next thing I knew, she was all over the dashboard,” Riggs said. “It was an entertaining 30 minutes.”
Another recent incident involved a call from an out-of-state traveler who had a flat tire. When Riggs arrived, he found not only a Porsche, but also a pooch.
“He was from Erie, Pa. and had gone to a Porsche show in Canaan Valley,” Riggs said. “On the way back, he had a flat and he had his ‘best friend’ with him.”
The driver asked Riggs if he would give him a ride to a local parts store so he could purchase a socket.
“He asked if I could watch his dog for a few moments,” said Riggs, who found himself eye to eye with his new canine friend, who at first was nervous, but settled down. He even posed for a picture.
Several years ago, Riggs was called to the scene of a truck pulling a trailer that had lost a wheel bearing.
“The trailer had a horse in it and we had no way to transport the horse, so we put the trailer – with the horse in it - on our flat bed, took the horse to a safe haven and unloaded it,” he said. “Then we took the trailer to get it repaired.”
The horse weighed as much as a car and was worth more than many people’s homes, said Riggs, adding that it was a little shook-up over the experience.
Then there were the exotic birds – three of them – which Riggs encountered when a traveler encountered vehicle dysfunction.
“That time, the birds just stayed in the car. They were minor repairs and we got her on her way,” Riggs said.
Riggs also once was called to a rollover collision on Meadowbrook Road.
“When we got there, there was a dog inside. You could tell he was really scared and he was all tangled up in his leash and the debris that was all over the inside of the truck,” Riggs said. “We didn’t want to roll the car over on its wheels without getting the dog out. We could tell he was injured, but didn’t want him to get more injured. We got him unraveled and out of the truck.”
He also once had to put on welding gloves to pull a cat out from under a brake pedal.
“Every time we hit the brake, the cat squealed,” he said. “I had to pull it out from under the dashboard.”
Riggs said he could go on and on with hundreds of stories involving animals. But for him, it’s just another day on the job.
“I keep hauling all these animals and there’s no fee for this,” he said. “But over the years, I’ve tried to take care of travelers. You have to think that you could be traveling somewhere and you would want the same service.”
Just this week, Riggs Towing did some rabbit sitting.
“But that wasn’t a tow. We were babysitting in the garage,” Riggs said.
As the story goes, an elderly woman had purchased the bunny for a pet, but decided she couldn’t care for it. Her neighbor brought it to the garage, hoping one of Riggs’ guys would adopt it. And that is what happened. In the meantime, Riggs and his coworkers had a lop-eared visitor. 

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