Post office apologizes after carrier repeatedly pepper-sprays tiny dog behind gate

Screengrab from KSWB video

A Southern California man puzzled by stains in his gated courtyard says a check of his security camera video shocked him, KGTV reported.

The footage showed his dog, Pupa, writhing in pain and desperately rubbing her eyes on the pavement, Alfonso Galindo said, KSWB reported. A frame-by-frame examination suggested a U.S. Post Office carrier had sprayed Pupa from outside the gate of his Otay Mesa home, he said.

Galindo checked videos from the past month and said he found at least 10 other cases in which Pupa, a 7-year-old poodle mix, “convulses in some sort of ritual of pain” after the postal carrier passes, KNSD reported.

“Never did I suspect the mailman. Never did I suspect somebody that you trust with your mail, with your packages,” Galindo said, according to the station. “It was heartbreaking, it was really heartbreaking.”

After Galindo complained, U.S. Postal Service officials reviewed his security camera videos and released a statement Tuesday, KSWB reported.

“On behalf of the United States Postal Service, we want to apologize to the Galindo family and Pupa,” reads the statement, according to the station. “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.”

Galindo said he’s concerned not just by the injury to Pupa but because he believes his kids were exposed to the pepper spray while playing with her, KGTV reported.

“Countless trips to the ER and urgent care, and countless medications,” he said, according to the station. “I get livid thinking about it. This is the health of my children.”

A Brevard County man was caught on surveillance video abusing a Shih Tzu at a boarding facility, causing the dog significant leg injury. The suspect was arrested on animal cruelty charges.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.