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Delivery denied: 10 homes cut off from mail delivery after dog bite

Adam Leckie says his dog Bailey escaped through his fence last year and bit a mail carrier in the hand (KATU News)

About 10 residents in a NE Portland neighborhood aren't getting their mail, after a man's dog bit the mail carrier once and chased him another time.

Adam Leckie says his dog Bailey escaped through his fence last year and bit a mail carrier in the hand.

"We take the safety of the mail carrier very seriously. No one should have to feel threatened while they're out doing their job," Leckie said.

Since then, he has upgraded the latch on this fence and put up a new mailbox on the street so the carrier wouldn't have to approach his house. He thought everything was fine, until Bailey got out again while he and his wife were on their honeymoon in August. He says Bailey didn't bite the carrier that time -- just chased him.

But the United States Postal Service took the incident very seriously, and cut off delivery service not just to Leckie's home, but to 9 of his neighbors on NE Emerson Street.

"Our neighbor across the street doesn't have a car, he gets medicine through the mail and he's had a lot of issues trying to get down to the post office trying to pick up his medication," Leckie said.

Several other neighbors run businesses from their home, and a lack of delivery is a big problem for them.

"Oh it's incredibly frustrating. I can't even describe how much a pain in the tushy [sic] it is," neighbor Crystal Schnacky said.

Schnacky says she often has to stand in line for 45 minutes just to get her mail at the post office. Leckie says he'll do whatever it takes to restore service, but he's having a tough time navigating the federal bureaucracy.

"It's just been a nightmare trying to get a hold of anyone in charge or responsible for the decisions being made," he said.

The USPS sent KATU News the follow statement in regards to this situation:

It became necessary to suspend door-to-door mail delivery to the 7000 block of NE Emerson Street in Portland after three separate attacks on letter carriers by a dog living at one of the homes in that neighborhood. We certainly apologize for the inconvenience caused to the 10 postal customers affected.

While we understand this is an inconvenience for our customers, it is absolutely paramount that our employees are able to work safely without concern for injury from dog attacks. In May, the Postal Service held its annual Dog Bite Prevention Week and released statistics which placed Portland ninth in the nation in the number of dog attacks on letter carriers in 2015. Needless to say, this is a serious concern and one that must be prevented whenever possible.

In this specific situation, there were three separate attacks by the same dog on two letter carriers, and one of the attacks resulted in a serious injury. Therefore, it is imperative that the safety of employees serving that area be protected, which is why a neighborhood delivery and collection box unit is planned to be installed for customers' mail delivery by the end of this week. We appreciate the neighborhood's understanding and our customers' patience.

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