A months-long mystery was finally solved after a California dog owner installed surveillance cameras and captured his mailman routinely pepper-spraying his fenced dog.
Alfonso Galindo, a father of two young children and a 7-year old Poodle-mix named Pupa, began noticing strange stains appearing on the patio of his southern California home. After several months of the unidentified staining, Galindo installed surveillance cameras outside his home. So, when the strange stains appeared again last week, he turned to the video footage to finally solve the mystery.
What he saw on the video was both shocking and heartbreaking.
At about 11:00am last Tuesday, cameras captured a USPS mailman walking toward Galindo’s mailbox, which sits outside of the family’s metal gate. Behind the fence, 7-year old Poodle-mix, Pupa, posed no threat to the mail carrier. Still, as he approached the home, a can of pepper spray can be seen hanging from the mailman’s wrist. He gives a quick spray through the fence, toward Pupa, before depositing the mail and carrying on as usual.
Further video footage shows Pupa writhing, rubbing her eyes and face on the ground in apparent pain and discomfort.
Galindo reviewed saved video footage – about a month’s worth – and counted 9 other instances where Pupa was sprayed by the mailman in only the past few weeks. Thinking back over several months, Galindo recalls several instances where Pupa turned up with red eyes, but that they always returned to normal shortly after.
Now, Galindo wonders if Pupa wasn’t the only family member affected by the pepper spray. Over the last 6 months, both of Galindo’s children – 3-year old Alfonso Jr. and 1-year old Regina, have suffered with respiratory problems. “Countless trips to the ER and Urgent Care, and countless medications,” Galindo told WTKR.
Galindo has since filed a police report as well as made a complaint to the US Postal Service.
“I believe what he’s done to our family is criminal,” said Galindo.
After an internal investigation, the USPS released a public apology to Galindo.
“On behalf of the United States Postal Service, we want to apologize to the Galindo family and Pupa,” reads the statement, according to NBC7. “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 says Pupa is a friendly family dog. The small Poodle-mix is hardly a threat, especially behind a fence. He wonders if other dogs along the same mail route have been routinely pepper-sprayed, too. Anyone who believes their pet may have been pepper sprayed in the Otay Mesa area is asked to call San Diego Police at 619-531-2000.