UPS driver leaves ‘Sorry’ note after running over family’s dog

A family in Bellingham, Washington continues to mourn the tragic loss of their dog after he was hit and killed on Thursday by a UPS driver backing out of the family’s four acre property near Lake Samish. According to King 5 News, the driver left a note on the front door reading, “Sorry I backed over Toby. He’s dead over by where I turn around. I didn’t see him behind me. Sorry.”

The 14-year-old Sharpei and terrier mix was one of the Wakelin family’s two dogs.

“Who does something like that? UPS needs to educate their drivers about how to do the right thing. It’s more about than delivering packages,” CynthiaWakelin stated. “I live on a mountain. I moved there for a reason,” she said. “They roam or go down the back to the lake. Full freedom….most of the time they sit on the porch.”

Cynthia had to search all over to find the body of her dog, but when she did poor Toby, her beloved dog had been hit very badly – with a trail of blood up and down the driveway. According to the Daily Mail, the driver did not call the family even though there was a phone number on the dog’s collar. In addition there was a phone number of the package he was delivering. And perhaps as tragic,  the next day Cynthia called UPS’ customer service to complain and a supervisor told her, “At least he had the heart to leave a note and didn’t just leave your dog dead on the driveway.” A second supervisor, however was much more compassionate apologizing profusely for the tragic loss of Toby.

In a statement from UPS, the official word is the driver involved has been discipline and the company ” will make a goodwill payment to the customer,” although no details have been presented as it is protocol that a driver inform the family of such an accident by going to the door and leaving a note if no one is home. The driver, however did not inform his supervisor of the dog’s death until the following day.

The family left the following heartbreaking note on their Instagram account:

“The caption read: ‘PLEASE SHARE! A @ups driver killed my 14 y/o dog, Toby, and left this note on my door! He also put his body where I had to search for him. My phone number was on the package and on my babies collar. You took my baby! You couldn’t even call and tell me or give a sincere apology? You thought you could redeliver my package the next day and apologize? We weren’t worth your time that day? I had to come home WITH MY KIDS and find a note! Do you know how traumatizing that is for a 6 year old boy?! I’m sick. My whole family is sick. This is not acceptable! I live far off the main roads. You failed to pay attention and have no heart! You ripped my family into pieces. I didn’t get to say goodbye to the first dog I have ever owned. He was my family. He was my child’s best friend.’ “

Toby’s death has been especially hard on the young children. Cynthia’s young son looks at Toby’s empty bed and cries.

Rest in peace Toby.

(Photos of Toby and the “sorry” note via the Wakelin family)

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35 replies
  1. Silvia says:

    Very sad to hear these children lost their beloved pet, sorry to say UPS drivers are the worst, they need to pay attention, delivering a package at the cost of a pets life is tragic! Some years back a friends Bulldog was killed by a UPS driver, they need to pay attention, my condolences to the family, <3

    • Virgil Moore says:

      As a former delivery driver the problem is dogs that try to attack the truck, believe it or not. They will lunge at the wheels and there may be no way to stop in time.

      • Barkley's Mom says:

        I believe it, I have had dogs chase my mini van and I have almost backed over one. This is why my pets don’t have access to the driveway and are inside the house if I can’t be there to supervise them. Anyone who thinks this could have been avoided and was irresponsible driving, should drive a UPS van for a day and see how well THEY can see behind them.

  2. Nancy Raymond says:

    This UPS driver has proven their lack of compassion for Toby by just leaving him to die – if they had any conscience, they would have immediately tried to help him they did nothing leave a lousy note on the door and just drive away. And for UPS to disregard the actions of this driver only shows its lack of compassion for this family’s loss. They ‘disciplined’ the driver – what a slap in the face to this family – apparently the UPS drivers are so poorly trained they can just run over animals like they are trash and leave them for the families to search for. This whole thing is despicable, deplorable and gives UPS a HUGE BLACK EYE.

  3. Barkley's Mom says:

    I feel bad for this family, but why, if they weren’t home, was Toby wandering around outside? I think the owner has to take some responsibility in this, I know I don’t leave my pets out if I am not home. I’m sure the UPS driver didn’t mean to hit Toby and most likely went back to the door to see if someone was home and when nobody answered, left the note. I personally don’t know what good a phone call would have been if they weren’t home, and how upsetting would it have been to receive the news via their cell phone if that was the number on the package. Rest in peace Toby,

    • Linda Szymoniak says:

      That was my first reaction. So, this is a case of a fail not only on the part of the UPS driver, but the family, for leaving a dog out loose when they weren’t home. What if Toby had wandered down the road and been hit by someone there? They could have spent days – even weeks – looking. My dogs are always inside our fenced yard when they are outside and are NEVER left outside when nobody is home. I won’t even leave them outside when I’m the only one home and take a shower. There are just too many things that can happen.

    • tina says:

      I know she commented she lives out in the country, but, I would never allow my dogs to roam free while no one is home. If the accident hadn’t occurred Toby was already at risk just by being left to roam while the family was out.

  4. Kathleen Drude says:

    This is inexcusable! There is nothing this company can say to me if this had been my little one! I have babies and I’m here to say right now that if this was one of mine that thing would not be walking or driving!

  5. Francene Kilichowski says:

    Two sides to every story. Why was their (VERY SENIOR) dog left alone, outside, while the family was gone? Sorry, you just don’t do that. Too many things can go badly.

  6. Olga Djurdjevic says:

    So sorry for your loss this is a red flag to all drivers slow down look behind and around you I seen a little girl chase a ball and get run over by the dairy truck it was a terrible accident her sisters seen we all went nuts the poor dairy driver told them take his license he will never drive again!!! 😥🙏🏼So sad learn from this!!! UPS Company slow down stop putting pressure on those drivers to delivery fast instead deliver safe and friendly!!!

  7. Helen says:

    The driver should at least have the balls to tell the owner in person that he accidentally backed into the family dog. However, I also believe the owner bears some of the responsibility. The dog should never be allowed outside of the home, except in a secure fenced in yard, without supervision. My brother’s family 10 year old dog, Coco was killed almost the same way. On day Coco followed her nose and walked 2 miles to the main road and then got hit by a car. The driver never stopped. The police found Coco’s dead body in the middle of the road and noticed she had a collar with an identity tag. The tag was engraved with “I have lost my way, please contact my owner at………..” The police place Coco in a box and delivered the body to my brother’s home.

  8. Susan M. Bissell says:

    The one reason I think the UPS driver didn’t call you is they are timed for each STOP they make, they have to do it under a certain amount of time or they get in trouble. I guess he felt it was suffice to just leave a note so you could go look for your dog when you got home or he was maybe hoping you wouldn’t call and complain about what happened. I had a UPS driver come up my long driveway so fast that I had nightmares about it, I dreamed that he ran over one of my dogs because they run loose in the yard (with me for exercise) and they ran up to the UPS truck as he came barreling up my driveway to leave a package. I am so sorry for your loss and for your children losing their beloved Toby. It is a heartbreaking and a truly sad experience for everyone involved.

    • Belle says:

      Yes of course they are timed but at that point that shit is out the window. It’s game over once he realized he kilked a life living creature. He should have stopped everything and called his boss and knocked on the door. No excuse. Him having to hurry is the reason but that should have been placed on pause. If something happened as a result of his doing then he should have just said “if I get in trouble, then I get in trouble for being late” but this is important

      • Barkley's Mom says:

        I would imagine he did knock on the door and that is why he left the note. I don’t for one minute think he ran over this dog on purpose, How many times have we seen even children get run over in a driveway, you can’t see them, especially in a big UPS truck. I am sorry for this family, I can’t imagine coming home and finding my pet like this, but then mine are contained so they can’t get into the driveway and if I’m not at home they are, hopefully, safe in the house. I’m sure he had no way of knowing when they would be home, he could have waited there all day.

  9. Cynthia Como says:

    So,so sad! What a cold hearted COWARD this UPS driver is! Didn’t have the moral integrity to apologize face to face,what a jerk!

  10. John Bollman says:

    Why was the dog loose in the first place. Just a matter of time before the dog would have been hit by a passing car. There is a reason why many townships have leash laws, they are mainly to protect the pet. So many people let their pets run wild and then cry foul when they run in front or behind a vehicle, or attack someone else’s pet or leave droppings on someone else’s lawn. A pet is not a family member, my family members don’t crap in the yard, chase cars, or bite passerbys. A pet is a responsibility​, you have to take care of it. You are legally responsible for whatever it does. So the family needs to own up for lack of basic care for this poor dog.

  11. Blake says:

    After 20+ years I left the company for several reasons. I drove a package car or delivery truck for the most of my time with Ups. One of the main reasons I left is because of their lack of compassion for the people that work for them! And while my heart goes out to the family for the loss of their beloved pet Ups the company for the most part could care less.. They only care about 💰!!! I know of a case where a driver was fired for hitting a dog he to left a note to the family but because he didn’t notify his superior right there on the spot he was fired. Good news is the dog lived and he got his job back a few days later. And where I’m from is a very small town. The driver knew the family and had been their driver for years. He even knew the dogs name.. Point being Ups is very much a part of corporate America! And they could give two cares less about a family’s pet or pets! The 1st supervisor called the family to cover his or her Ass! The second may have truly been compassionate but was just following company policy. The driver believe it or not probably felt awful. He left the note because that’s what they tell us to do. I probably would have done a better job writing the note and I would have for sure left my cellphone number so the owner would have hopefully called me 1st! So I could have had a chance to explain to them what had happened. That being said I wasn’t there and my only guess is the driver was scared he’d get fired.. And believe me they love to fire people even if they get their job back. Ups drivers are members of the Teamsters Union. Ups and Corp America could care less about a family’s dog. Very sad and I’m very sorry for their loss. I personally hit 3 dogs in my time as a package car driver I also knew all three families as well. I’ve watched a little kid stand there and cry and say why did you run over my dog?? It was awful. It happens. Still very sad.. I wish I could say Ups would start caring about their customers more but sadly they probably never will.. And no I didn’t get fired. I left so I could spend more time with my own family. I’m now much happier and currently own my own business.

    • Barkley's Mom says:

      A lot of it has to do with the driver themselves. Our UPS driver actually brings my dogs treats, they are enclosed in a fence and cannot get in the driveway or near the door to where he leaves the delivery but I have seen him toss them treats and talk to them as he is walking back to his truck. If this driver hadn’t cared about hitting Toby, he wouldn’t have bothered leaving a note. I feel for the driver, I’m sure hitting someone’s pet isn’t how he wanted his day to go and the owners share some responsibility in this for allowing their dog to roam around while they weren’t home. I know how I would feel if I hit someone’s pet but sometimes it’s unavoidable, it’s and accident.

  12. ESther Harrell Tartaglia says:

    They had 4 acres. He wasn’t in the city. Moron should have told his boss the same day. They may have saved the dog. You don’t wait a day to tell them. That is a stupid driver. You should have gotten out and saw the dog was still bleeding. You may have saved him. Sorry between the stupid driver and moron answering the phone, I don’t know which one is worse. UPS Shame on you!


    that is not a good reason he should of look before he backed out to see if anything was in the way and he did not so leaving a note is not going to bring there dog back he should be fired they do have back mirros on the trucks so why didnt he use it iam sorry he was just a asshole and did not care cause is he did he would of look to see if anything was in the way and he did not rip in peace little pup i hope they sue the company so sorry for your lost i hope the kids will be ok hugs

  14. Dee says:

    Was your dog loose. Guess it not a law where u live that dogs are to be leashed. Fenced . sorry for the lose of your baby

  15. Red says:

    I do not care where you live……if you love your pet you do not allow them to freely roam. So what if they live on a mountain….then there is wildlife that could hurt him. Maybe there is a hole or ditch they could fall in and you wouldn’t find them, or some monster of a person choses to steel and abuse them? REALLY????? You couldn’t have kept your pet in the house or in a fenced yard? This is horrible….but the owner is just as much to blame as the driver who hit the poor pup. RIP baby. Now you will be loved and cared for.


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