A semi-pro football team comprised of FDNY firefighters is proud to boast its team mascot — a chicken named Pudgie they found in Chicago.
Last month, members of the FDNY Bravest rescued the malnourished chicken as she wandered near a Chicago-area slaughterhouse.
The Daily News reports Pudgie is named in memory of team founder Lt. Robert “Pudgie” Walsh, who died in September.
Pudgie is leading quite an enchanted life since her adoption.
During the team’s practice, Pudgie, daintily roams the perimeter, picking through the grass. Team members can be seen occasionally walking over to where Pudgie has strayed — too close to the gate, under a food truck, too near teenagers — and fetch her. She’ll get snacks from adopted family, and an occasional shower over her feathers from a bottle of water to keep her cool on the sidelines, the Daily News reports.
Without the team, Pudgie most likely would have experience darker hours.
The team found her and recognized she was in need of a rescue.
“She just hung out with us … we couldn’t let her go. She had to come with us,” Jarrett Howe, 31, of Ladder 8 in Tribeca tells the Daily News, as Pudgie sat calmly in the arms of Desi DeFrietas, 43, who works in Maspeth’s Squad 288.
Pudgie, who is almost ‘Instafamous’ with her own Instagram accoun
t, has visited firehouses in all five boroughs, and her travels are well documented for her 1,759 followers.
More than a mascot, the team supports Pudgie’s efforts as a goodwill ambassador.
The firefighters are hoping Pudgie’s celebrity will assist in promoting their fund-raising efforts for two charities that serve the families of deceased firefighters, reports the Daily News.
Pudgie is taken every few days by a different member of the Bravest, and lives at their firehouse until the team’s next practice or game.
“She walks around the firehouse, everybody takes care of her, they bathe her, they treat her real good,” DeFrietas concludes for the Daily News.
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