A man returned home to find his family pet writhing in pain. Unsure what had caused his dog such distress, he reviewed his surveillance footage, which clearly captured a run-in with the mailman. Sadly, what he saw was only the tip of the iceberg.
Alfonso Galindo first became suspicious that something odd was occurring at his home when he spotted strange marks on his patio in Otay Mesa, California. Over the course of several months, unidentified staining repeatedly appeared in the area where his children and family dog play. Concerned, the father-of-two installed surveillance cameras.
When he returned home one day to find Pupa, his 7-year-old poodle mix, acting oddly and the unusual stains appearing on his patio yet again, Alfonso went straight to the surveillance footage. Over and over, Pupa scraped her face against the ground as if she was trying to wipe something from her eyes, Alfonso told Inside Edition.
What Alfonso saw was both shocking and distressing. “It’s heartbreaking to see, it really is, to see our dog suffering in that manner,” Alfonso said, referring to footage that showed Pupa writhing in pain. But, as he went further back in the saved footage, he saw something even more disturbing.
With the friendly family dog locked in the patio enclosure, the mailman approached the Galindos’ mailbox outside their metal gate. Pupa posed no threat behind the fence, but that didn’t stop the mail carrier from pulling the trigger on what appears to be a can of pepper spray hanging from his wrist, spraying through the fence toward Pupa.
“You can see his finger on the trigger,” Alfonso said. “He decides to walk right in front of the gate and nonchalantly spray the dog.” As Pupa falls to the ground in obvious discomfort, the mailman deposits the mail and carries on as usual.
Sadly, this wasn’t an isolated event at his southern California home. After reviewing about a month’s worth of the saved footage, Alfonso discovered the mailman routinely appeared to pepper-spray the fenced dog.
In total, the homeowner uncovered at least 11 times the small dog appeared to be sprayed by the same mailman with Pupa having done nothing to provoke such a reaction.
“My gate is over here, where my dog is obviously behind,” Alfonso said, showing how his dog was three feet from the mailbox. He also said he’s never received any complaints about Pupa.
According to the dad, Pupa isn’t the only one in his home who likely suffered at the hands of the mailman either. Seeing the repeated attack on his pet caused Alfonso to recall other issues his family had encountered. In addition to several instances where Pupa’s eyes were unexplainably red when Alfonso returned home, his children had also endured health problems over the past six months.
Both 3-year old Alfonso Jr and 1-year old Regina suffered respiratory problems resulting in “countless trips to the ER and Urgent Care, and countless medications.” The dad believes this could be related to pepper spray being launched into the patio area where his kids often play or from the children playing with the dog after she was pepper sprayed.
“I believe what he’s done to our family is criminal,” Alfonso said, explaining that he filed a police report in addition to making a complaint to the US Postal Service. As police investigated the issue, other dog owners who live just blocks from the Galindo home have come forward. They too believe their pets were targeted by the same mailman.
One owner revealed that his 9-year-old dog, who was also behind a gate, started to twitch in pain for a few minutes after the mail carrier had been to their home. Hours later, the dog’s eyes were still red. Another neighbor complained about a similar occurrence, according to 10News.
Although the postal worker has not been identified, USPS released a public apology after an internal investigation. “On behalf of the United States Postal Service, we want to apologize to the Galindo family and Pupa,” the statement said. “We do not condone our employees behaving in a manner which is not professional and courteous. The appropriate personnel and corrective action will be taken as well as training given to all local letter carriers.”
How do you train someone to have decency and humanity, though? No one should harm another living creature that doesn’t pose a threat. This should be a given, not something that needs to be taught. Sadly, this mailman not only hurt innocent animals, but he also did a disservice to his coworkers as well. Postal workers face legitimate threats and should be able to arm and protect themselves. When someone abuses that freedom, however, it puts the rights of others at risk, and that should upset us all.