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To the Rescue: Caws for Alarm

Humane officer branches out to attempt daring, aerial rescue to free trapped bird

Andy O’Brien doesn’t give up easily—even when his job drives him up a tree.

O’Brien, a humane officer with the Marin Humane Society in Novato, Calif., was working the swing shift—3 to 11 p.m.—on a Sunday last summer when he got an emergency call. Monique Bricca of nearby San Rafael said a crow was hanging upside down in her backyard, his legs tangled in fishing line, 40 to 50 feet in the air from a branch in a pine tree.

After 5:30 p.m. on his shift, O’Brien is on his own, covering the whole of Marin County by himself. After responding to other calls, he got to Bricca’s home around 8:30 p.m.

Using his flashlight, he located the bird in the tree and could see it was still alive. O’Brien contacted the San Rafael Fire Department for help, requesting a ladder.

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