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article imageWoman tries to mail dog using Priority Mail

By Vincent Sobotka     Feb 3, 2011 in Crime
Minneapolis - An 11-year-old boy will not be unwrapping a dead puppy as a birthday gift thanks to employees of a Minneapolis post office being witted enough to suspect something odd about a moving package, which tumbled off the counter.
Stacey Champion, 33, reportedly walked into the Loring Station post office on Feb. 1 with a box. She paid $22 to have shipped via the United States Postal Service's (USPS) Priority Mail shipping service.
Luckily, what was contained inside the box had another intention; to escape. The box moved and tumbled from a counter in plain view of many of the staffed postal workers.
The tightly-sealed box was opened by employees, after permission was given by a Postal Inspector, to reveal a 4-month old, black, poodle-Schnauzer named "Guess." The puppy was frantically struggling to get air.
Minneapolis Police Sergent Angela Dodge described the incident as "crazy." Dodge also said the packages shipped through Priority Mail are loaded into the cargo hold of airplanes where, "It gets (40 degrees below zero) in those cargo planes that get up to 40,000 feet."
Dodge also said, "There was no food or water. Puppies can't go for long periods without food or water." Or oxygen, which was the primary of Guess' concerns.
Before Guess made his presence known, Champion told postal workers to disregard sounds they may hear coming from the box, because the package just contained a toy robot, according to Private Officer News. Robots, however, don't require air-holes in their boxes when being shipped, which Champion was at least thoughtful enough to add for Guess. Unfortunately, though, she taped over the holes while sealing the box.
Post office supervisor Thomas Ojoyeyi opened the box. He said the box read: "This is for your 11th birthday. It's just what you wanted." Ojoyeyi also said the USPS will ship some live animals such as bees, small and harmless cold-blooded animals, chicks and ducklings. Not puppies.
Champion was tracked by the return address on the box and cited by Minneapolis police for misdemeanor animal cruelty and has 10 days to appeal and reclaim the dog. According to Sgt. Dodge, Guess is being held at the city's animal control facility and will be made available for adoption after the 10-day period. Dodge also said Champion has not yet contacted authorities to claim the dog.
Champion did return to the post office to demand a refund of her $22, which was nixed by employees, as well as a return of a small amount of money she had attached to a makeshift dog collar worn by Guess. For the "collar currency" employees referred her to contact the local law enforcement.
Ojoyeyi gave his account on Champion's second arrival to the post office, saying, "We asked her, 'don't you want to know about your puppy?' But she said no. She just wanted her money back."
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