Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Stupid person of the year

What can you say about this?

The puppy that almost ended up in the U.S. mail will stay at an animal shelter for at least another week after an administrative hearing officer ruled Monday that it should not be returned to its owner.

On Monday, city administrative hearing officer Fabian Hoffner ruled against returning the dog to owner Stacey Champion, 39, of Minneapolis, calling what she did "disgraceful."

The 4-month-old Schnauzer-poodle mix was nearly sent in a cardboard box to Georgia last month before it was intercepted by alarmed postal workers. Postal authorities said it almost certainly would have suffocated or died of exposure in the unpressurized belly of a cargo plane.

Champion admitted at the hearing that she put Guess in a box without food on Jan. 25, saying it was supposed to be a birthday gift for her son in Atlanta.

Because delivery was halted, Champion said, "I was deprived of my son not receiving his gift for his birthday. I felt really, really bad as a mom."

The case was so unusual that Postal Service employees weren't sure at first if the shipment was illegal, according to Postal Inspector Jesse Swanson. He said at Monday's hearing that on the day the dog was discovered, he got a call from the Loring Post Office station manager asking if Postal Service rules prohibited the mailing of puppies. He had to check the rules himself before learning that it was not permissible.

"This was somewhat uncharted territory for us," he said.

Suspicions about the shipment first arose when employees at the Loring Station post office in downtown Minneapolis saw the box move on its own and heard breathing inside. Champion had told clerks that the box contained a toy robot, according to Swanson. . .