USPS letter carrier caught on camera spraying cats with repellent in Cleveland

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– The United States Postal Service said it’s investigating after a letter carrier was captured on surveillance footage spraying repellent at cats on customers’ front porches.

It happened Tuesday on Dalton Avenue in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood.

The surveillance footage, shared online, shows a letter carrier approaching a home and spraying repellent toward two cats lounging on the front porch before delivering mail. The video shows the carrier then continuing on and spraying the repellent toward a cat on Andrea Hicks’s porch.

“They weren’t even around him, and he went and took out the pepper spray and was spraying away,” Hicks said.

She said docile stray cats have lived in the area for years and are part of the Cleveland Animal Protective League’s Trap-Neuter-Return Program.

“I’m very upset about it because these stray cats have nobody but us to take care of them,” Hicks said.

Down the street, Clinton Smith said he found orange liquid on his front porch Tuesday and discovered his pet cat Playboy had been hit in the face.

“It didn’t make no sense to me,” Smith said. “It’s like he’s going around just spraying cats deliberately.”

Hicks said she and other neighbors reported the incident to the United States Postal Service.

USPS Spokesperson Naddia Dhalia told FOX 8 News the agency was notified of the incident Wednesday and will take appropriate action based on its investigation. In a statement, she said letter carriers are equipped with repellent to use when animals act “aggressively.”

“For safety reasons, carriers use a repellent when they encounter an animal that is acting aggressively towards them. It is a harmless mixture of mineral oil and cayenne pepper and the effects wear off in 10 to 15 minutes. It has been approved by veterinarians, the Humane Society, kennel clubs and is registered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” Dhalia said in the statement.

Hicks said the letter carrier was unfamiliar and may have been filling in on the route. She said she hopes he faces discipline.

“Something needs to be done,” she said.

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