Hundreds of Birds Rescued, Rehabbed at Auto Repair Shop Turned Sanctuary

It's an auto shop turned bird sanctuary.

Mixed in with the noises you expect at a mechanics, there's also the distinct chirp of birds at one Key City auto repair shop. 

"Blue jays, mockingbirds, pigeons, everything.".

Gail Pittman has been rescuing and rehabbing birds for years -- and she does it all out of her and her husband's auto repair shop off Poplar St. in Abilene.

"My dog found a baby sparrow that had fallen out of a nest and I raised him," she explained. "He was my buddy, I always kept him in my pocket."

That was five years ago.

Now, the inside of Pittman's garage is lined with cages as she nurses each and every bird that is brought to her back to health.

"This one can't fly, he's blind in both eyes, and he has seizures, like he's having right now," she said of one bird who will likely never be healed enough to be released.

But over the years, Pittman has released approximately 300 birds, working closely with a local bird veterinarian and saving hundreds of lives.

They are brought in from just about everywhere and just about everyone, to get a second chance at life and flight.

"People just started bringing us birds that fell out of nests or broke a wing and it just snowballed," said Robert Pittman, Gail's husband.

And while most of them are set free when they are well enough, some just cannot seem to take the hint.

"Every time we take the pigeons and let them go, they come right back, just walk inside the door and hop into their cage," Robert Pittman said.

It runs the couple about $200 to $300 a month to care for all of the birds, but they say it's an expense they don't mind at all.

So at Pittman's Garage, it goes from rehabbing cars to rehabbing birds -- all in a days work.

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