A U.S. Postal Service mail carrier in Alabama is facing a felony animal cruelty charge after allegedly feeding a meatball filled with nails to a dog.
Susanna Dawn Burhans was arrested about two weeks after the Madison County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint about her, Capt. Mike Salomonsky told AL.com.
“We gathered intelligence from the Postal Service and put everything together,” Salomonsky said. And there may be other dogs affected, he added.
Ed Glover, a man on Burhan’s mail route, told WHNT News 19 that he became suspicious after finding a nail-filled meatball on the ground next to his mailbox. He took his dog, Missy, to the veterinarian, where staff X-rayed her stomach and saw that she had consumed nails.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately return a request for comment from HuffPost on the case.
Real instances of hazardous food items apparently targeted at pets — like a 2013 incident in Michigan in which dogs consumed meat stuffed with needles — are often the apparent inspiration for online rumors and hoaxes. Fact-checking site Snopes cites several viral “warnings” about such items that have little basis in reality and repurpose photos from older, unrelated news stories.