It’s true that pets and mail carriers don’t always get along (watch this video of a cat attacking a mail carrier through a glass window) An incident in Ohio, however, has several neighbors worried about the safety of their pets and local strays. Surveillance footage shows a USPS mail carrier spraying two cats laying on a front porch. After the video was posted online, other neighbors came forward with similar concerns.
In the video, you can see the unknown mail carrier aim a canister of what has been identified as a mixture of mineral water and cayenne pepper at two cats that were minding their own business. After the cats run away in alarm, the mail carrier then proceeds to deliver the mail. He then continues on his route and sprays a cat on a different porch.
Neighborhood resident Andrea Hicks told news reporters,
“They [the cats] weren’t even around him, and he went and took out the pepper spray and was spraying away.”
Hicks also said that the cats in questions are friendly strays that have lived in the area for years. They are part of the Cleveland Animal Protective League’s Trap-Neuter-Return Program and are cared for by various neighbors.
Stray cats weren’t the only ones to get sprayed, however. Another neighbor, Clinton Smith, said he noticed an odd orange liquid on his front porch the same day the video was taken. He then realized his pet cat had pepper spray on his face.
The concerned neighbors reported the incident to the United States Postal Service, and officials say it’s being investigated. They also said all mail carriers are given “repellent” made with cayenne pepper to use if they encounter aggressive animals. USPS Spokesperson Naddia Dhalia told FOX 8 that the spray is harmless and side effects disappear in 10-15 minutes. It has also been approved by veterinarians and the Humane Society.
Regardless, neighbors are rightfully concerned for their pets. None of the cats seen in the video were acting aggressively. The neighborhood hopes some kind of action is taken against the mail carrier to ensure the incident doesn’t happen again.