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A US Postal worker in Alabama has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty for allegedly giving at least one dog meatballs with nails inside. Police fear more dogs may have been harmed. The mail carrier is now on off-duty status.
Susanna Dawn Burhans, 47, was arrested Thursday after a joint investigation by the Madison County Sheriff's Office and the US Postal Service (USPS) alleged that she fed nail-laced meatballs to at least one dog in New Hope, Alabama.
"We gathered intelligence from the Postal Service and put everything together," said Mike Salomonsky, the Sheriff's Captain, according to the Alabama Media Group. "Right now, we know for sure there's one dog. But there's another neighbor that had a complaint, so there might be two or more."
Burhans has been charged with a Class C felony charge and released from the Madison County Jail after posting $2,500 bail. She faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted.
Salomonsky said that the investigation into Burhans began after they received a complaint nearly two weeks ago.
Ed Glover, a man on Burhan’s mail route, told WHNT that he found one of the meatballs on the ground near his mailbox. When Glover discovered that the meatball was full of nails, he feared that Burhans had already fed one to his dog, Missy. He took Missy to the veterinarian, where the staff X-rayed her stomach and found she had ingested nails.
Glover says that the dog survived and is doing well. He said he hopes Burhans will not be allowed to return to her job and that no other pets are harmed.
Burhans, who has been an employee with the US Postal Service (USPS) for more than 21 years, is currently on non-duty status.
"This type of alleged behavior within the Postal Service is not tolerated and the overwhelming majority of Postal Service employees, [who] serve the public, are honest, hardworking, and trustworthy individuals who would never consider engaging in any type of criminal behavior," said Jeldrys Lowry, a spokesperson for USPS, according to the Alabama Media Group