Unless you’re a first responder or someone else who works in the medical field, you probably wouldn’t expect to hear calls for help on your average workday. So when Oregon UPS driver Lee Purdy heard the words, “Help me! Help me!” coming loud and clear from a house where he was making a delivery, he knew his workday had just taken a turn.
With a sense of unease, Lee asked his wife to notify the police, hoping they could rescue whoever was in such dire straits. When the police arrived, however, they found a situation that had them doubling over with laughter…
For a UPS or delivery driver, the day-to-day tasks of the job don’t change too often: every day, you make sure packages are delivered safely and securely. But Oregon UPS driver Lee Purdy recently faced a situation that didn’t quite fit his job description…
It was a late November evening when Lee hopped out of his truck, package in hand, and heard cries of “Help me! Help me!” coming from the residence. Something didn’t seem right about the voice calling for help, either.
Still, it’s not every day you hear screaming while you’re at work. The situation weighing heavy on his mind, Lee called his wife, who in turn called the non-emergency police hotline. When officers arrived at the scene, they found things weren’t what they seemed…
When the police arrived, Lee still stood on the property, clearly nervous about what was going on inside the house. “I asked them [the police] to do a courtesy check to make sure nothing weird was going on,” Lee told Today. So they did just that.
Planephotoman / Flickr
“The deputies were able to contact the owner and gain entrance into the residence,” Brian Jensen, the public information officer for Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, told CBS News. Inside, they didn’t find a murder scene or a fallen elderly person. Instead, they found that it was just a parrot named Diego!
“We’re thankful. It’s super funny,” Brian said. He and some of the other officers even had some laughs at responding officer deputy Hayden Sanders’s expense. “We’re just glad that no one, including the bird, actually needed any help,” he added.
Lee said that he’d originally suspected the voice was a parrot, but some other possibilities played out in his mind. He told Fox News, “I was a little concerned at first that… maybe an older person had fallen and couldn’t get up, you know, was yelling for help, and maybe the bird heard and started copying that.”
With a sense of relief, Lee still had one last lingering question: Why was Diego yelling “help me” in the first place? Had he been mimicking the words of an abused owner? Or was the parrot himself abused to the point that he regularly called for help?
The parrot’s owner, Susan Baird, clarified those questions for the concerned delivery driver. “When I got the call from the county sheriff,” Susan told Fox 12 Oregon, “I was very amused because Diego is such a personality.”
Fox 12 Portland
“He is very people-oriented,” Susan explained to Inside Edition. “He likes to have people around. He is very affectionate. When he’s alone, he will often yell ‘help me’ because he doesn’t like to be alone.” Talk about the parrot who cried wolf!
And wouldn’t you know it, Diego—who was an impressive 41 years old—was a bird of many talents: not only could he call for help with all the veracity and gusto of a damsel in distress, but he could also imitate a cat’s meow and a barking dog, too.
Apparently, it wasn’t the first time Diego left people concerned after calling for help. Susan recalled another instance where she was entertaining guests in another room and could hear a distant voice begging for attention! Talk about a mama’s boy.
Susan was out of town when the situation happened, and Diego had just started to miss her, so he called out for help. It was no wonder why the bird couldn’t stand to be separated from Susan for long: she’s owned the green-and-yellow parrot for two decades!
While Susan’s daughter had been watching the parrot for her, Diego still couldn’t help but feel a bit lonely. When he heard the UPS driver walking up to the front door, Susan speculated that he might have thought it was her and started calling out in glee.
As for the Clackamas County police? Rather than feel like anyone wasted their time, the officers were all smiles about the story. The department even shared a picture on Twitter of the responding officer, Deputy Sanders, with Diego. Of course, it received all kinds of positive attention!
Clackamas Sheriff / Twitter
You have to imagine that as a police officer, it’s nice to get called into a situation like this where you can laugh at the end. “We all needed a lighthearted moment,” Brian Jensen, the public information officer, told Today. “That’s what this provides. It’s the wild kingdom here.”
Lee Purdy and his wife did a great deed by alerting the authorities, and even better, we get a hilarious story out of it. And even though Diego is certainly guilty of being lonely, Susan should be grateful, some pets crimes are a little more… severe.
1. “Oh… I was just checking to see if the asparagus was fresh. I swear!” This little guy’s eyes just say it all, don’t they? He knows exactly what he did, and he is terrified to have been caught.
2. “There’s a what where? I’m sorry, I don’t know what ‘lid’ means. It it that thing you’re always feeding whenever you want to throw out the food that you could have just given to me? Oh, it is? Okay, got it.”
3. “Hey friend! Why don’t you just go ahead and jump in with me? Uh, yeah, the water’s just a little bit warm. Don’t worry about that. I definitely had nothing to do with that, trust me.”
4. “At last, I will destroy—no, uh, I definitely wasn’t doing anything! That stuffed caterpillar is just, um, playing with me! Yeah, that’s right, we’re the best of friends. Tell them we’re friends, buddy!”
5. “I regret nothing! I don’t even mind the fact that I appear to be trapped in this huge, fluffy pillow. I am comfortable right now, and that is all that matters. So hey, leave me alone!”
6. “What? No, I’m not doing anything. I was just, uh, making sure you had your wallet. I’m happy to report that it’s safe and sound. Yup, it’s right here in your purse, where it’s always been. Untouched. Why do you have that look on your face?”
7. “Oh, hello. I’m in a bit of a conundrum here. What? Oh no, the hangers are fine. It’s just that I can’t seem to figure out what clothes to wear today. It’s humid, so I want to avoid polyester, but this striped top would look so good with these skinny jeans. Ah, fashion!”
8. “Nope, nothing’s wrong. Everything’s good here! We’re getting along just fine, actually. We weren’t fighting at all. We adore each other! We were just talking about red dots, and how much we love them!”
9. “Oh, gosh, no, it’s not what it looks like! We’re just wrestling… right, Ernie? Either way, I can assure you that whatever it is that you think you see, it is completely consensual and beautiful.”
10. “You, know, my friend, it’s actually pretty nice in here! You should really try this sometime. It’s like your very own personal jacuzzi. I honestly don’t understand why you sit on this and not in this.”
11. “I totally wasn’t scratching him and hissing at him.” “Wait, that’s not tru—” “Hush, you! See? We’re the best of friends. We’re not fighting, just playing. Talking about TV shows. And who should control the remote, which we decided was me.” “No we didn’t!” “Yes. We. Did.”
12. “Lipstick? No. Never heard of it.” What do you think? Does this cute little pup look better or worse with all of that makeup on her face? Maybe with a little more precision, she could host her own YouTube tutorial!
13. “Ooh, this is really prett—ABORT. ABORT MISSION.” You can watch this gif countless times, and it still would be amazing. There’s so much going on here: the curiosity, the realization that she’s been caught red-handed, the slowly backing away…
14. “Why am I up here? Well, for starters, I have such a better view of the kitchen from this spot. I can watch everything that you’re cooking. And once it’s finished, I can just take a nosedive right in!”
15. “I was just breaking in your shoes. And your hat, too. Yeah, you know how uncomfortable hats can be if you haven’t been wearing them for a little while. They get stiff. That’s a thing, right?”
16. “He can’t punish me if I don’t look him in the face. So I’ll just go ahead and say that I’ll never look at his face again. Sure, I’ll have to live with the top of a garbage can for the rest of my life, but at least I won’t have to face the shame.”
17. “Oh… you’re home early. Look, the way that I choose to make my own money on nights and weekends is nobody’s business than my own, okay? I don’t judge you for your job!”
18. “Hey! I remember you said you wanted to go grocery shopping soon, so I took it upon myself to read all the circulars. There are so many things on sale right now! Squeaky toys, puppy chow… I even clipped all the coupons for you. Aren’t you happy?”
19. “Pardon me? I just got out of the shower. I was actually about to shave my beard. Can this wait? …Oh, there’s someone at the door? It’s my date? Ah! Tell her to give me a minute!”
20. “Well, I guess this is my life now.” This is what happens when curious kitties don’t think things through when they go exploring. We’ve heard of them getting caught up in tall trees and muddy holes, but the couch? Now that’s a new one!
21. “I think the cat did that. Actually, come to think of it… yeah, I saw her do it. She was all like, ‘I’m going to make a big mess for the humans to clean up and you can’t stop me!’ and I was like ‘nooooo!’ So it’s her fault. Wait… what do you mean we don’t have a cat?”
22. “Oh, see, my paw was hot, and I figured that the fish wouldn’t mind if I went ahead and cooled it down by dipping it into their tank here. No, of course I wouldn’t try to eat them! What kind of cat do you think I am? Geez!”
23. “No way, I totally wasn’t going to eat the ice cream! All I was going to do was make sure that you didn’t have anything in here that would tempt you from your diet, and… okay I was going to eat it. Don’t judge me!”
24. “It attacked me! What, was I supposed to do—just lie down and let myself get beaten up? I had to defend myself! It’s been a long, bloody battle, and I’ve been injured. But I emerged victorious! At least… I think I did.”
25. “What did I do while you were gone, you ask? Oh, nothing. Just sat around mostly. No, of course I didn’t destroy any of your super fluffy pillows. The fish did that. You should really get rid of them, you know.”
26. “I saw you were attempting to make something and figured I’d help. It’s okay, my paws are clean. Sometimes you just need to knead it by hand to get the dough just right. Cats just have that special touch. They don’t call it ‘Meow Mix’ for nothing!”
27. “Dude, I’ve had such a busy day today. I’ve lounged over there on that couch. I’ve lounged on this couch. I’ve napped on every pillow at least twice. I’m so exhausted, I think I need another nap! Phew. This sure is a tough job.”
28. “No, we’re not play-fighting! I just caught Mr. Whiskers over here jumping in the mud outside and then stomping all over the couch with his dirty paws. I’m actually making a citizen’s arrest!”
29. “Don’t go upstairs. Seriously, please don’t do it. You really don’t want to know what’s up there… okay, fine. You know that signed collection of Lord of the Rings books that you have? Well… used to have? Yeah, about that…”
30. “Don’t go in there. I’m telling you, this bathroom needs to be quarantined because someone did something really nasty in there. No, of course it wasn’t me! I’m just giving you a warning. Also, we should probably find the Poopetrator, whoever they are, before they strike again!”
31. “I’m just happy to see you come home! I mean, yes, I did eat all of the cupcakes, and yes, they were absolutely amazing. But I love you even more than I love those delicious baked goods!”