North Collier firefighters aid family in rescuing pet bird

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NORTH NAPLES, Fla.- A family’s bird that escaped from home is now safe and sound thanks to firefighters with the North Collier Fire Rescue District.

“I mean how do you tell a firefighter you lost your bird and you want them to help? I was just so desperate at that point.” said Gail D’Arco who spent hours alongside her triplets trying to find the small cockatiel named Paulie.

“When that bird flew out, I thought if we weren’t going to find him that Saturday, there was no way we were going to the next day,” said Alex D’Arco.

“We were walking around and all of a sudden my son was like, ‘I think I hear him,’ and I was very suspicious, but I said ‘let’s try’ and there he was, sitting in a tree outside Sweet Bay. It was really amazing,” said Gail D’Arco.

Firefighters arrived at the shopping center off of Pine Ridge Road and Goodlette-Frank Road to rescue Paulie from a tree.

“What we didn’t want to do is get up there and have the bird fly away on us and continue to have the same problem. So we put the family in the bucket with us,” said Battalion Chief Jamie Cunningham.

“I’m very happy they helped me get my bird back,” said Carolyn D’Arco.

“I raised them with the idea of doing for others and you don’t always get to show them that,” said Gail D’Arco. “You felt like you meet these strangers and they acted like they were your family it was just beautiful.”

Cunningham says this is his first bird rescue in his 19-year career.

“But realistically this is what we do. Our job is to take care of the people regardless if it’s a animal, bird, cat dog, or obviously, a human being. We’re going to treat them all as part of our family,” said Cunningham.

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