Woman’s Mail Delivery Service Disrupted Over Dog Bite Claim

A Santa Fe Springs woman says the post office won't deliver her mail because of a dog bite she says never happened.

Letty Montes says her 17-year-old dog, Archie, doesn't have a bad bone in him. But the neighborhood mail carrier disagrees.

"He's a really good people dog" Montes said. "It doesn't add up."

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Mail usually comes through a slot in the front porch, next to an iron door with a deadbolt. But a letter from the local United States Postal Service supervisor says her home is unsafe to deliver mail. Another page mentions a "dog bite."

Montes says her dog never bit anyone. Though she says Archie does tend to bark through the gate.

"You're not going to get any safer than an iron gate," she said.

Montes says the postmaster came out to review. The post office wants her to install a mailbox on the sidewalk.

"They're responsible just to deliver the mail," she said.

Every year thousands of letter carriers are bitten by dogs - last year more than 6,500, with 422 of those in the greater Los Angeles area.

"It's a very serious safety issue for the postal service and a top priority," said Richard Maher of the USPS.

What if the dog has a threatening bark?

"Any time a carrier feels threatened or a dog's loose, we may ask the customer to come into the post office to pick up their mail until we can resolve the situation," Maher said.

The postal service reviewed Montes' mail slot and said the "security screen door was not latched" and carrier "had to hold the door closed for over 10 minutes." No one appeared to be home.

Montes says that's not true. But anxious to get her mail back, she agreed to install a mailbox on a divider away from her door, wishing there was an easier way to prove Archie's innocence.

"He would never go out and and attack," she said. "He's just not made that way."

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