An Alabama postal worker has been suspended after allegedly feeding at least one dog with nail-laced meatballs. If convicted, the postal worker could face up to 10 years in jail for aggravated cruelty to animals.
A 47-year-old U.S. Postal Service worker has been suspended from work and charged with a class C felony after allegations of cruelty to animals. Susanna Dawn Burhans of north Alabama was arrested after a joint investigation between the Madison County Sheriff's Office and the Postal Office found evidence that she indeed fed nail-laced meatballs to at least one dog in the Woody Circle area in New Hope.
According to local reports, the investigations began two weeks ago after Ed Glover complained of finding one of the nail-laced meatballs by his mailbox. Concerned about his dog, Missy, Glover took her to the vet where X-rays showed that she had nails in her stomach. Glover then filed a complaint and told the authorities that his mail carrier was Burhans.
No other details about the case and investigation have been released, but at least one other resident has also filed a complaint against Burhans. She has already been released from jail after posting a bail of $2,500 on Thursday, June 1.
Postal Workers vs Dogs
The relationship between postal workers and dogs has always been a pretty rocky one. Though delivering mail may not sound like a particularly dangerous job, having to deal with guard dogs of homes they deliver to isn't such an easy feat. In fact, a USPS annual survey in 2015 reported over 6,549 cases of dog attacks on their workers.
In 2016, the number remained high at 6,755. Though Houston Texas nabbed the top spot in 2015 with 77 dog attacks, Los Angeles grabbed the top spot in 2016 with 80 dog attacks on postal workers in the city. It was followed by San Diego with 57 attacks and Long Beach with 22.
Even before the incident, USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo said that they continue dog bite prevention efforts to keep pet owners, their pets, and visitors such as mail carriers safe. One particular advice that she gave was to not take mail in front of your dog, as it will threaten and confuse the pet.
Oftentimes, dogs merely bite out of fear or when they feel cornered. Though no additional details have been released about the current case, animal cruelty is something to be taken seriously, and fortunately for Missy, her owner took immediate action that saved her life and the life of other dogs in their neighborhood.