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Success P e t s SUPER PETS They say animals have an extra sense and can sniff out danger in just about any environment, and the pet heroes you’re about to meet give new meaning to furry, feathered and fearless. TEXT BY SANDY LINDSEY PARROT ALERT FERRET FIREMAN FELINE CO2 DETECTOR DAILY HERO Willie, a Quaker parrot, is responsible for Hannah Kuusk being a happy 8-year-old today. When Hannah was 2, she began choking. “While I was in the bathroom, Willie began screaming like I’d never heard him scream before and he started flapping his wings,” says Megan Howard, Hannah’s babysitter and Willie’s owner. “Then he started saying ‘mama baby’ over and over until I came out and saw Hannah’s face was turning blue.” She performed The Heimlich, and Willie was awarded the Animal Lifesaver Award by the local Red Cross. Diana Desrochers says she never had a problem with any of her ferrets biting — until one fateful day. “So this particular evening I was startled when Mookie climbed into bed with me in the middle of the night and bit me in the arm — hard,” she says. “At first I was very upset with him. It was then that I smelled an awful odor and knew immediately that something was burning. I looked across the room and saw the electrical outlet glowing red in the dark.” She called 911 and woke her father who turned off the power to her room. Mookie saved the day. When a gas-powered water pump malfunctioned in the Keesling home, leaking deadly carbon monoxide, Winnie The Cat was sleeping by the window. The fresh air is credited with keeping her awake long enough to save the family. She rushed to her sleeping owners and nudged them madly, meowing loudly. “It was a crazy meow, almost like she was screaming,” says Cathy Keesling. Though extremely dizzy, Cathy dialed 911. Even though her husband and son were unconscious at the time of the rescue, luckily no one was seriously harmed. Skippy helps his pal Wayne Short daily. But he’s not a handyman. He’s an iguana. When the scaly pet wasn’t allowed on the boardwalk at Ocean City back in 2010, Short challenged “service animal” perception and had him registered with the National Service Animal Registry. While there’s no technical category under the Americans With Disabilities Act for a “service iguana,” Skippy has been prescribed by a psychiatrist for depression as an essential component of his owner’s treatment plan and has traveled just about everywhere with him. 76