Stains on the patio floor and red eyes on the seven-year-old poodle mix first gave Alfonso Galindo a clue that something untoward was happening to his family dog, Pupa. The stains on the ground would appear periodically, but it wasn’t until Galindo installed CCTV in his home that he was able to find out why.
CCTV Footage of Animal Abuse
Video from Galindo’s security camera showed a mail carrier walking past the front gate and to the mailbox. The adorable Pupa can be seen behind the gate. The video shows a cylindrical object in the postal carrier’s hand. As he places the mail in the mailbox, a different angled camera feed shows Pupa begin to convulse. ‘The dog is withering in pain … makes me sick to my stomach,’ said Galindo. (1)
Recurring Incidents of Animal Abuse
Because Pupa had repeatedly suffered from these symptoms, Galindo decided to have a closer look at the CCTV footage, going back about a month. Shockingly, he found nine other occasions where his cherished pet suffers from convulsions after the postal carrier visits. ‘It’s a total betrayal of the trust. You would think the Postal Service is somebody you can trust,’ said Galindo. (1)
Family Health Issues
Galindo suspects that the consistent macing of the dog has had a ripple effect on his family’s health. His children, Alfonso Jr., 3, and Regina, 1, are inseparable from Pupa, who Galindo says is a beloved member of the family. The two children have recently developed respiratory problems. ‘Countless trips to the ER and urgent care, and countless medications,’ said Galindo. He thinks that the pepper spray might be the cause. ‘I get livid thinking about it. This is the health of my children,’ said Galindo. (1)
Galindo took his findings to the local police as well as complaining to the Postal Service who have begun an internal investigation. ‘I believe what he’s done to our family is criminal,’ said Galindo. (1) ‘On behalf of the United States Postal Service, we want to apologize to the Galindo family and Pupa,” USPS said in a statement to KSWB. “We do not condone our employees behaving in a manner which is not professional and courteous. The appropriate personnel and corrective action will be taken as well as training given to all local letter carriers.’ (2) They also asked that if anyone in the same area has concerns that their pets have been treated the same way, they get in touch with San Diego police at 619-531-2000.
Tips For Caring For an Abused Animal
Animal abuse is terrible and can leave long-lasting effects on the poor critter. Here are a few ways to help heal an animal that’s suffered abuse in the past:
- Be patient
- Dogs that have been abused may take a long time to trust you. Be patient and give them the space they need to learn that you’re their friend.
- Socialize slowly
- The greatest window of learning in a dog’s life starts around 3 weeks of age and closes between 16 and 20 weeks. Dogs raised in inhumane conditions may not have been given the necessary socialization and experiences. This means that dogs who have been rescued often need a little bit more time to adjust to their new lives. They may not be used to people or other animals and might need a little extra support to learn that not all humans are bad. (3)
- Don’t punish
- Abused animals have often come from homes where shouting was the norm. Try to avoid disciplining them for bad behavior because they won’t connect the punishment with the behavior. Instead, focus on good behavior and use positive reinforcement.
- Be prepared for health issues
- If your new pet has come from somewhere like a puppy mill, be aware that they may come with health issues, and keep an eye out for anything that seems unusual.
- Reach out
- If you’re having trouble with your previously abused pet, please don’t give up on them. Instead, speak to professionals such as a pet behaviorist for help. They spend time with you and your animal and can give you tips specific to your pet.