Painesville dog owner claims US postal carrier unfairly pepper sprayed her dogs

Postal carrier used pepper spray during delivery

PAINESVILLE, Ohio - Joann Rombough of Painesville believes her two dogs were unfairly pepper sprayed by a U.S. postal carrier during a delivery on July 2.

Rombough was receiving a Sunday Amazon delivery when she claims the postal carrier used excessive force while her dogs were barking on the front porch of her Leroy Township home.

"They started barking, but they were in no way threatening, but the postal worker just panicked," said Rombough. "She started screaming, 'get your dogs, get your dogs.' There are so many different ways this could've been handled. Take the letter, take the box, just hit the dog on the end of its nose, or something like that. She could've even dropped the box."

Rombough said both dogs were covered in orange pepper spray. The over-spray even speckled her front porch rail and rocking chair.

Rombough contacted the Painseville Postmaster's office. A supervisor told her the case was under investigation.

News 5 also contacted the Painesville Postmaster's office about the case, but we're still waiting for a response.

According to the USPS website, postal carriers are to use pepper spray only when they believe they are under attack.

Dogs biting postal carriers is a problem, especially in the summer. The USPS reported some 6,500 carriers were bitten by dogs in 2015 alone, and that it's extremely important owners keep their dogs restrained, especially during delivery hours.

USPS issued the following statement in response to this case on July 5:

"In this incident, the carrier placed the resident’s package on her front porch near the mailbox.

As she was walking down the steps of the porch, the resident opened her garage door to retrieve the package, allowing her two dogs to rush out of the garage, straight for the carrier.

The carrier emphatically asked the resident to restrain her dogs (Get you dogs!), and when the dogs continued to advance toward the carrier, the carrier sprayed the dogs with non-lethal pepper spray. All letter carriers carry pepper spray for defense against dogs."

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