USPS suspends delivery, cites vicious dog

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Threats of an animal attack against a local mail carrier have prompted Post Office officials to suspend delivery to an Andalusia apartment complex.

Debra Fetterly, communication program specialist for the Alabama and South Florida Districts of the USPS said Saturday marked the fourth time the postal carrier encountered “a threat of injury or attack by dogs roaming loose” near Murphree Drive.

Fetterly said that Andalusia Postmaster Mike Kolmetz has spoken with the manager on three prior occasion since November and advised that a fourth threat would result in suspension of mail delivery.

“(Monday) he went to the apartment complex to personally speak with the manager and learned the apartment manager was out of town, returning on Thursday. The apartment’s maintenance department did not answer the emergency contact number.”

Fetterly said Kolmetz is hoping to “work something out with the apartment manager on Thursday.”

Fetterly said the apartment complex has walk-up delivery, but postal officials hope to discuss placement of cluster boxes so that all deliveries would be made in a central location.

“We recognize that suspension of mail delivery is a serious matter and take this step only when absolutely necessary,” she said. “The postal service is charged with the responsibility of providing consistent and reliable mail service; however, as an employer, we also are dedicated to the well-being and safety of our employee.

“Dog bites result in unnecessary pain and inconvenience to our employees as well as enormous cost to the postal service,” Fetterly said. “We instruct our letter carriers to avoid entering an area, where, in their judgment, there is a threat of injury or attack by an animal.

“Mail delivery will resume as soon as the postal service is confident the animal is no longer a threat,” she said. “It is the dog owner’s responsibility to control his/her dogs and to comply with community ordinances in regard to dog ownership.

Animal Control officers said on Monday they had not received complaints over the weekend about the issue.

“Animal Control was closed on Saturday, but had been notified about the prior three concerns.” Fetterly said.

Until an agreement is reached, residents must pick up their mail at the Andalusia Post Office between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and must bring a photo ID to pick up the mail.