USPS not delivering mail to Cleveland street, cites dog attacks

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - People on Walden Avenue in Cleveland are forced to go to a post office miles from their home to pick up their mail because of a dog. The U.S. Postal Service has decided it's too dangerous for home deliveries in the area because the dog has attacked a carrier.

"I look out my kitchen window to make sure he's secure," said Vivian Pace, while opening up a recent batch of mail.

She retrieved the mail from the Post Office, but says she has concerns just walking in her driveway. Jeffrey Glenn, her mailman of 26 years, hasn't been so fortunate. He has been attacked twice, which is why the mail has been stopped.

"I couldn't totally panic, I had to stay calm and keep the bag there," Glenn said, describing an attack. "He just was more obsessed with getting me."

The Post Office says it is investigating, but has no power to remove the dog -- that's up to the City of Cleveland. The city is investigating but hasn't taken any action.

So, folks on a big chunk of Walden Avenue are caught in the middle.

Pace says she was told that because of the dog problem, no substitute carrier wants to be subjected to the dog.

Glenn made a report to Cleveland's Division of Animal Control, and described how the dog got through a hole in the fence. He says another time the dog burst out the front door (a door with a bright carrier warning sign).

"Something has got to be done with the dog because I figure it's a matter of time," he said. "He's gonna get me or somebody."

Pace has complained, too, but was told nothing could be done unless the dog was loose.

Dionne Fisher's mother owns the dog.

"It was just a one accident thing," Fisher said.

When he was told people claim it happened three times, he denied the claims. He says his mom has no plans to get rid of the dog.

"He didn't attack the dog catcher, he didn't attack the police," Fisher

When asked why the dog catcher and police came over, Fisher said someone had called about the dog. When asked if the dog had gotten loose, prompting a call, Fisher said the dog was never loose.

The home is rented through Section 8, which prohibits dangerous animals, but the company that owns it is an LLC in Tampa with no published phone number.

Here are the top dog attack city rankings. In short, Cleveland had the second highest number of dog attacks in the nation last year with 58 attacks. More than 6,500 letter carriers were attacked last year nationwide.

When reporting on this critical issue, would you please include the following tips?

•           If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.

•           Dog owners should keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.

•           The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the Post Office until the Postal Service is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner's neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well. The Postal Service does not want to inconvenience any customers, but is obligated to ensure the safety of its carriers.

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