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Senator probes dog complaint reports

Jerry Moran’s office contacts residents about postal service

Staff writer

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran’s office is investigating the number of loose dog reports made by Marion post office in Marion, Peabody, and Florence.

Moran’s office is contacting city officials within the county to discuss how to improve the situation, which could result in an official letter to U.S. Postal Service, a representative said.

Represenatives of Marion, Peabody, and Florence city offices said Tuesday that they had not yet received contact.

Moran’s office is also in contact with residents who have made complaints to his office.

Residents from N. Roosevelt St. in Marion, as well as N. Olive and N. Pine Sts. in Peabody have been forced to install curbside mailboxes because of mail carriers’ claims of loose dogs.

In Florence, 3rd, 4th and 5th Sts. have installed neighborhood boxes, with several residents’ boxes attached in one structure, because of similar claims.

Residents throughout the communities expressed frustration, claiming they had not received enough notice before changes in policy were made.

The post office sends a notice to residents the first time a mail carrier has a dog incident, and the policy requiring curbside mailboxes, or neighborhood ones in parts of Florence, is enforced 15 days after the second incident in an area, postmaster Lori Kelsey said.

Florence is making efforts to curb the number of loose dogs, and will send mayor Bob Gayle and councilman Ken Hoffman to Herington on June 25 to see how the problem is combated there.

The city also bought a pair of 12-by-12-foot kennels for housing loose dogs last week.

Marion and Peabody Police Departments have both been busy with dog complaints, though not necessarily from the post office.

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

Nine tickets were written in Marion during 2016 and 2017 combined, but it jumped to eight in 2018, and seven through May of this year.

Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burk said he was unsure of the total numbers for the city, but the department has already written two tickets for loose dogs in June after writing none in May.

According to May’s monthly police report, there were nine loose dog calls, which was slightly higher than average, Burk said.

Peabody and Florence city councils each previously discussed increasing fines for loose dogs, but no decisions were reached.

Last modified June 19, 2019

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