Problem dogs disrupt mail delivery
By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY ó About 30 Salisbury residents can expect to receive mail for the first time in a week today.
The U.S. Postal Service suspended deliveries to portions of West Henderson and Church streets last Tuesday, citing dogs that were putting the carrier in danger.
ěWe will not continue to place our mail carriers in jeopardy if they are in an unsafe situation,î Monica Robbs, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Postal Service, said Tuesday.
Robbs said a couple of pit bulls have posed a threat to the carrier for ěquite some time.î
Nearly 5,700 postal service employes were either bit, nipped or attacked by dogs while making deliveries last year, according to data release by the Postal Service in May.
Neil Dailey, a West Henderson Street resident, said heís frustrated with the halt in mail service because it could affect his health.
ěIím on heart medication, Iím on blood thinner and Iím on prostate medication,î he said. ěThese area all mailed from the pharmacy to me.î
Dailey, 68, who uses an oxygen machine, said he is physically unable to travel to the pharmacy to pick up his medication and when the mail stopped coming last Wednesday he wasnít sure what to do.
When Dailey informed his nurse that he was down to one dose of his blood thinner and wouldnítí be receiving mail she immediately called the Hefner VA Medical Center.
ěThey had a 30-day supply sent over by UPS that afternoon,î he said. ěThatís how serious it was.î
Dailey and his neighbor, Deborah Bamby, took matters into their own hands Thursday, making a trip to see Interim City Manager Doug Paris.
Paris got in touch with Rowan County Animal Control to help remedy the situation.
Robbs said the mail carrier and postal management in Salisbury met with Animal Control Supervisor Clai Martin Tuesday afternoon to work out a plan.
ěWe know itís not practical for us to suspend the mail indefinitely,î she said. ěWe are very aware of the problem and we want it rectified, we certainly know the value of mail and we want everyone to receive their mail.î
Robbs said the Postal Service has asked an animal control officer to accompany the mail carrier on the route until the situation can be permanently resolved.
ěWe donít want to punish the residents, but we want to make sure our employee feels comfortable,î she said.
Delivery is expected to resume today.
If the dogs continue to pose a threat, residents could be asked to install a curbside mailbox so that the carrier does not have to leave their car.
But Robbs said that would not be the ideal option because of how narrow the streets are.
ěThey are receiving door delivery now and we donít want to have to require homeowners to put mailboxes on the street because door delivery is really a privilege,î she said.
The Postal Service will continue to work with animal control to come up with a permanent solution, Robbs said.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.