Shipping services

Free bird: Saving a beloved 'family member'


Pet of 15 years mistakenly packed and shipped by customer.

"I thought I'd seen it all," says Donna Di Ienno, a UPS Customer Center supervisor. "However, this story may be the best one I've been involved with yet."

No doubt it is.

Here's how it goes: The UPS Customer Center in Lawnside, N.J., had just closed at 9 p.m. After locking the doors, Di Ienno was warming up her car when she noticed a vehicle driving onto the lot. A man and a young boy exited the vehicle and ran to the front door looking frantically through the windows. Getting out of her car, Di Ienno asked if she could provide assistance.

"I need your help," said the man. "My name is Todd Marcus, and I own an exotic bird store, and one of my birds is in a package that my wife shipped out earlier today."

Di Ienno asked whether he had a tracking number and how he knew that the bird was in the box.

"Our family pet bird is named Squeakers," Marcus explained. "We have had him for 15 years, and we let him fly through the store freely throughout the day. At night, we keep him in a cage; however, tonight when we closed the shop we could not find him."

Marcus owns Todd Marcus Birds Exotic in nearby Delran, N.J. He sells a variety of birds, including toucans, black palm cockatoos, hyacinth macaws and red-tailed cockatoos.

"I thought I've seen it all," says Donna Di Ienno, a UPS Customer Center supervisor. "However, this story may be the best one I've been involved with yet."


A hurried search
"My wife and I went and looked at the surveillance footage," Marcus continued. "My wife was preparing a package to be shipped just before our driver arrived. She walked away from the box to get the paperwork and label for the box. We noticed that Squeakers had flown onto the box to investigate and wedged himself under the flap. When my wife returned, she just closed the box and taped it up. So I know that's he's in that box."

Taking immediate action, Di Ienno reopened the counter and contacted Larry Gaines, a UPS security supervisor, and explained the situation. She gave him the tracking number. "The first thing I did was contact Twilight Sort Manager Joe Galdo and explained the situation," Gaines says.

Gaines met Galdo in the scanning office. They had called in reinforcements to help. Using UPS's scanning and tracking technology, they located the trailer that held the package.

At the trailer, they met another UPS employee, Kenny Hodge, and began searching for the package. Everyone knew time was a factor as the package had now been in freezing temperatures for nearly three hours. After 25 minutes, they located the package. Gaines immediately rushed it to the counter.

Upon arrival, Marcus opened the package. Squeakers jumped out and onto the floor. Marcus put his hand down and the bird immediately climbed up his arm and onto his shoulder.

Marcus and his son were delighted and impressed by the efforts of everyone at UPS. "I can't believe it," Marcus said. "I can't believe you did all of this just for us."

A smile from ear to ear could be seen on his son's face as they tucked Squeakers up under his shirt and headed home.


Reader Comments

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Julie Ludlow
UPS is a business with a heart!
Nancy Reis
Kudos to this UPS facility! Love happy endings!
Great customer service UPS! Love reading this post!
Wow! Great customer service UPS. Way to go!! :)
God bless all of the UPS people who went above and beyond the call of duty to rescue this feathered creature. May you also live long and prosper !
Kudos to the employees at UPS, I have parrots a nd I'd be freaking out, so glad he was found and safe.
Sue M
This is an awesome story and one that UPS should be proud of. As an owner of an exotic parrot, they are family to us, and I can definitely understand the owners panic at the thought of losing a member of his family. Kudos to all of the employees that were able to reunite Squeakers with his human family!!
That is amazing!! Kudos to the UPS employees!!
Woody Woodruff
I had birds for many years and one day I got a call from our tourist information center that an exotic bird had landed at the door of the information center and its beek looked frozen and the bird seemed very weak and shivering. I told them to open the door amd I guess after feeling the heat it flew inside the door. I rushed over to administer aid to the bird. She lived and I put her in my large indoor aviary so she could live out her life and fly after no one responded to my ad I placed in the paper for a lost bird. I later got her a mate and she ended up having many young ones. As she finished raising them I gave them to a friend in the medical field . In turn many children with cancer ended up with a pet bird to see them through the rest of their days. Until you own a bird you will never know how close you will get to them. I am very happy and grateful this story had a happy ending! Thanks to all involved in saving this creature.
Alton Warren
Wow! Stories like these make a grown man tear up. Great Job Ups!
Dora Estrada
Bless those people who went beyond the call of customer service. It's nice to hear how people are still caring.
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