By 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.”

Comments (4)
  1. Lani Ellis says:

    if they won’r deliever her mail because of her pet then they should give her a PO Box for her mail. She shouldn’t have to get rid of her family pet. She has done everything to make it safe for the mail carrier. BUT a dog is going to bark YOU can’t stop that. I would not get rid of my family pet. that is just like saying you have to get rid of your child before I give you your mail bvecause your child is a problem when a carrier comes to deliever your mail…huh…

  2. Brandie says:

    There are too many careless dog owners out there who let their dogs run amock and say “oh my dog would never hurt anyone”. I don’t blame the postal service for not wanting to deliver mail there, the dog didn’t bite the mail carrier but still chased her, I’m sorry but I wouldn’t want to be chased by a dog either when I am just trying to do my job… I do, however, think that the postal service should pay for her PO box if they refuse to deliver mail to her home.

  3. Robbie says: dogs like this lady is danger and scary! She herself seems unsecured about her dogs in the video, Get rid of it or no mails, beside she should at least had the mailbox near the street/fence. Don’t compare Pets to Children! It like apples and oranges, totally different animals.

  4. karla says:

    If the post office doesn’t want to deliver her mail because of her dog why does she still get a box full of junk mail at her home? Is deliver only off limits for her personal mail? Is the junk mail magic armor? The fact that her junk mail is still being delivered was over looked in this story. Stop the junk mail or maybe go ahead and mix her personal mail up with the magic mail.

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