Reporting Kurtis Ming
Karen Davis of Woodland will admit her dog Samantha is protective — even scary to some people.
“She’s intimidating, until you show her that you don’t care,” Davis said, “and then she pretty much calms down.”
But Davis also wanted to get her mail.
For the last eight years, she has been forced to rent a P.O. Box to receive her mail, she said — after Samantha ran out the front door and after her mail carrier in 2003.
Startled, the carrier filled out a form calling Samantha a “vicious animal” — even though the dog didn’t bite him, according to the USPS.
“It’s not fair,” said Davis.
So Davis had a sturdy steel screen door installed on her front door to keep Samantha in — something she thought would be enough to restore her mail delivery service, she said.
After all, on its website, the United States Postal Service said service will be restored upon the owner’s “assurance that the animal will be confined.”
But her postmaster told her something else.
“[She said] ‘You gotta get rid of your dog before you get your mail,’” Davis told CBS Sacramento. “I think I ought to be given another chance.”
Dog attacks are serious business in the Sacramento area, according to Ralph Petty of the USPS.
“We can’t afford to have our employees injured,” said Petty.
He said Sacramento ranks No. 9 on the list of U.S. cities, with 30 dog attacks happening last year.
“If we have numerous incidents with that dog at that property, we’re not going to deliver the mail there,” Petty said.
“I can understand where they’re at with this — there’s a lot of dog bites out there,” acknowledged Davis, “but my dog didn’t bite [the carrier].”
After Davis contacted the USPS about the changes she had made, Woodland Postmaster Pamela Andrews sent Karen a letter.
“I can understand your concern, especially since you have never known your dog to be vicious or to bite anyone,” Andrews said in the letter. “However, … In most cases, the dog had not bitten anyone before and was not considered dangerous to anyone by the owner.”
“It is postal policy to continue with a dog hold until the dog is no longer at the resident [sic],” Andrews continued.
So why did the USPS website state a different policy?
When CBS Sacramento contacted Andrews, the USPS agreed to set up a time to inspect Davis’ property and reconsider her case.
“I think after eight years,” said Davis. “I should be able to get my mail back here.”