SAN DIEGO -- An Otay Mesa man is outraged after he said he caught the mailman pepper spraying his small dog for no apparent reason.
Alfonso Galindo said his gut told him to look though surveillance video after coming home to find stains on the ground and being greeted by a stained and red-eyed Pupa, his 7-year-old rescue. He scrolled back to find the poodle mix frantically rolling around on the ground.
“Heartbreak. That gut-wrenching, sick feeling,” Galindo said. “You see the dog withering in pain and it goes on for a minute and then you’re like, what was that?"
Galindo went frame by frame trying to figure out what caused Pupa to react like that. Then, his focus soon zeroed in on the mailman.
“You can see the can of mace hanging from his other hand,” Galindo said as he showed FOX 5 the surveillance video. “Right there he’s pointing directly at the door not even close to our mailbox."
Galindo said so far he has watched videos from over the past month and found this was not a one-time occurrence. He said it appears the worker has sprayed his little dog with mace at least 11 times.
“Me and my wife are now concerned. This is a family dog. My kids wake up and hug the dog. The dog sleeps inside,” Galindo said.
He said they are now going to see if this might have anything to do with his young children's' respiratory issues.
“They’re sick to this day. We have countless emergency room visits, urgent care visits,” Galindo said.
The South Bay father said he is not only concerned for his family, but others too.
“If he’s threatened by this dog, I wonder how many other dogs he sprays on a regular basis,” Galindo said.
According to the USPS, postal carriers can spray a dog with repellent if it attacks. Carriers are supposed to notify their supervisor if they are concerned about an animal, but Galindo said he has not once received a complaint about Pupa.
“She’s such a sweetheart,” Galindo said.
USPS officials said they are investigating and sent representatives out to look at the video. They released this statement Tuesday:
"On behalf of the United States Postal Service, we want to apologize to the Galindo family and Pupa. 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."