Ed Sattler’s dog, Zelda, grabs the mail as the postal carrier pushes it through the mail slot on the front door of his house Turner Street NW in Grand Rapids. Zelda is a trained service dog and one of her responsibilities is to received Sattler’s mail as he is confined to a motorized chair and his bed due to a debilitating disease. If the mail falls to the floor before the dog goes to get it it is much for difficult if not impossible for Zelda to retrieve it.
The post office said it sent Sattler a letter on April 12 that it suspended his delivery, but he said he never saw it. A May US Postal Bulletin says that when there is animal interference, the Post Office is supposed to phone the customer. Officials said they didn’t have Sattler’s number — although it’s listed in the online White Pages. And even though his mail is suspended, Sattler told 24 Hour News 8 he was getting some of it meaning someone was still putting it through the slot for Zelda to retrieve for him. He called the Post Office recently when he noticed important mail like bills and checks were not arriving.
The US Postal Service suspended delivery to his house in mid-April after a substitute mail carrier complained. One day after 24 Hour News 8 began asking questions, two USPS workers arrived at Sattler’s house and asked him to sign a letter promising to keep his dog away from the mail slot between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sattler refused. Then they asked him to sign a different letter promising to obey postal regulations. Again, he refused. If Settler needs a service dog to help him retrieve his mail there must be some sort of work around the postal service can come up with especially because Zelda cannot stick her mouth through the letter deliver slot and the postal worker does not have to stick their hand in the slot to push the mail through. In fact it might help Zelda to retrieve the mail if it wasn’t pushed all the way through and left dangling for her to pick up with her mouth.
Felissa Elfenbein is the author and creator of Two Little Cavaliers. She loves to travel and so do her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Davinia and Indiana. We have lived in NYC, Florida, Georgia, Berlin, Germany, & Hong Kong.
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