• Last modified 828 days ago (June 13, 2019)


Doggone confusing: Reports, postal changes differ

Staff writer

After months of claims that dogs are affecting Marion mail carriers’ ability to do their jobs, documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act indicate Marion postal workers have filed no dog complaints in two years and only three in four years.

However as recently as this week Marion police reported ticketing a dog owner after a postal worker said the owner’s dog was dangerous and running free.

According to documents released by the USPS, there have been 13 dog reports under the jurisdiction area of Marion post office from 2016 to 2019.

The last dog incident listed by in Marion was in March 2017, and there have only been three since 2016.

Door-to-door delivery along N. Roosevelt St. halted in April after claims of dogs chasing mail carriers.

There is no listed report of incidents there and police at the time said they did not track who made complaints.

However, Lori Kelsey said Tuesday that she had received reports that may not have been logged.

“One of the carriers was out Saturday and said another dog came after her, and a customer came out to help,” Kelsey said.

Kelsey said postal workers always call police, but calling the sheriff’s department is the only way to guarantee the report is logged.

“We call in a lot more than what it says we do because they don’t always get logged,” she said.

The total number of calls to police about loose dogs in Marion has risen from 66 in 2016 to 88 in 2017, and 115 in 2018, with 42 reports filed through April this year.

Only three cases resulted in tickets in 2016, six in 2017, eight in 2018, and four through May of this year.

But three additional tickets have been written since then.

“I have no idea what it was,” police chief Clinton Jeffrey said. “Dogs were going crazy last week.”

The post office sends out a warning to residents after the first dog incident in an area, Kelsey said. After a second, a move is made to curbside delivery.

One of the arrests this past week could spell the end of door-to-door delivery on Locust St., which earlier was warned.

Dog warnings are actually more common in Peabody.

In 2018 and 2019, Peabody was the only city within Marion post office’s jurisdiction with any dog incidents on the report obtained under the Freedom of information Act.

There were five reports over that span, with two in the 200 block of Olive St. since April 25. Olive St. is one of the areas moving to curbside delivery in Peabody.

“We don’t know if that dog is still around or not because we are afraid to deliver parcels to that area,” Kelsey said. “We can’t take that chance.”

Florence began using neighborhood boxes on several streets at the beginning of May, with several residents’ boxes attached in one structure.

There was one dog report from mail carriers in Florence listed for 2016 and one for 2017, with none since then.

Hillsboro post office, which has its own postmaster and reports to a different region than Marion, began requesting volunteers for curbside delivery six to eight years ago, according to Hillboro postmaster Rebecca Tibbetts.

As new residents moved in, they were required to put up curbside boxes.

Most Hillsboro boxes are now at the roadside, save for a stretch along Main St. and certain homes of elderly residents.

Post offices are no longer allowed to make a request to eliminate door-to-door delivery without reason, as in Hillsboro, Kelsey said.

Last modified June 13, 2019