By Christian Boone For The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The poodle mix was sealed inside a box with no air holes, police told the paper. A U.S. Postal Service spokesman said Stacy Champion, 39, informed the post office clerk her package may make some sounds “because it contained a toy robot.”
Champion paid to have the package sent by priority mail, which guarantees delivery within two days — in most cases. She left no food or water in the box, the Star Tribune reports.
Moments after Champion left the post office the box fell off the counter. Workers contacted postal inspectors — the only ones authorized to open priority mail — who released the puppy. The canine was unharmed, according to the paper.
While it is legal to mail certain animals, such as chicks and ducklings, shipping dogs and most other warm-blooded mammals is illegal.
Minneapolis Police Sgt. William Palmer said that if the box had been shipped, the puppy would have been put in an nonpressurized cargo hold and would probably not have survived.
The package’s intended recipient is unknown.
Stacey Champion has been charged with animal cruelty for trying to mail a puppy from Minneapolis to Georgia last week. But now she wants the dog back.
Sgt. Angela Dodge of the Minneapolis Police Department says Champion appealed the animal cruelty citation and will likely have a hearing Friday or Monday. The hearing will determine whether she can keep the puppy or if it will go up for adoption.
If she loses the appeal, there will likely be a long list of potential new homes for the dog, Dodge said. As has been the case with other celebrity animals, the calls are already coming into the Minneapolis 311 phone line asking if the puppy, named Guess, is available for adoption.
In cases like this, Dodge said, people line up the day of the adoption and animal shelter staff take down everyone’s information.
“We draw names. It’s that simple,” Dodge said. “Whoever wins, wins.”
Clerks became suspicious of the package Champion dropped off last week. They called postal inspectors, who opened the box and found the puppy.