Trucker Named Highway Angel for Rescuing Abandoned, Malnourished Puppy at Truck Stop

Alexandria, Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, VA—The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has named truck driver Rich DiFronzo, from Dallas, PA, a Highway Angel for rescuing a malnourished and abandoned puppy tied to a tree at a New Jersey truck stop, and nursing her back to health. DiFronzo drives for Barnhart Transportation in North East, PA.

It’s an incredible story: Several months ago, DiFronzo was at a truck stop in New Jersey and discovered a female puppy abandoned and tied to a tree.

“I fed her cheeseburgers because I asked everybody around whose dog it was and no one said anything,” DiFronzo said. “They said a guy was trying to sell the dog over the weekend, and I got there on Thursday – so to me, that’s five, six days that the dog has been there, tied to the tree.”

DiFronzo freed the puppy from the tree and took her home with him. Although she was skittish when he first approached her, she seemed relieved to be rescued.

“She stayed with me the whole week in the truck,” he said. “She couldn’t get enough cheeseburgers – she was starving.”

Di Fronzo took the puppy to the veterinarian as soon as he returned home to Pennsylvania. She was malnourished and needed several rounds of antibiotics. He spent over $500 to nurse the puppy, now named Roxy Lynn, to health. On October 18th, she went to her forever home with a friend of DiFronzo’s.

“I’d do it again tomorrow,” he said. “I love animals and you just don’t do that to animals.”

Since the program’s inception in August 1997, nearly 1,300 professional truck drivers have been recognized as Highway Angels for exemplary kindness, courtesy, and courage displayed while on the job. Thanks to the program’s presenting sponsor, EpicVue, and supporting sponsor, DriverFacts, TCA is able to showcase outstanding drivers like Mr. DiFronzo.