Grrr: UPS Driver Kicks Therapy Dog, Injures Owner’s Rib

UPS driver kicks dog

Based on a shocking video released yesterday, you might think UPS stands for Unnecessarily Pugnacious Scoundrels.

In late May, a surveillance camera outside of an assisted-living facility in Atascadero, Calif., captured a UPS driver kicking Patch, a small, 10-year-old American Eskimo dog. Patch let out a cry as she was sent tumbling backward.

When Patch’s dog dad, Timothy Paulsen, ran up to the driver, the driver shoved him in the chest, apparently dislocating and re-breaking a rib that had been previously broken in a motorcycle accident.

“This assault was completely unprovoked,” Paulsen told Cal Coast News yesterday. “I nor my dogs did anything to deserve this attack. The driver threatened to kick me as I tried to calm the situation down.”

Although Paulsen’s fist is clenched in the video, he told KSBY he was just pointing his thumb at himself in a non-threatening manner.

“It was a reaction. I said, ‘Hey man, I was sitting right there,’” Paulsen said. “And that’s when he just clobbered me.”

Paulsen regularly brings Patch and his other dog, a Scottish Terrier named Bonnie Bell, to the facility to interact with the residents, many of whom suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

A resident who asked to be identified only as Richard told Cal Coast News the dogs are always friendly. He said Patch was not acting aggressively toward the UPS driver.

“The dogs were just barking and did not attack anyone,” Richard said. “He kicked the dog twice and it screamed.”

Paulsen contacted the Atascadero Police Department and filed battery charges against the driver. Cmdr. Joe Allen told Cal Coast News the police department is preparing a report to be sent to the San Luis Obispo County district attorney’s office.

The UPS driver, who has not been identified, told police he felt threatened by Patch, who was not on a leash, and by Paulsen.

In an email to KSBY, UPS spokesman Dan Cardillo said the company trains its drivers to be cautious when confronted by dogs and to protect themselves if necessary.

However, “UPS does not condone this driver’s behavior and took disciplinary action,” Cardillo said. “We have contacted the customer and apologized.”

Cardillo did not specify what disciplinary action was taken. Paulsen told KSBY he doesn’t want the driver fired, but hopes UPS will “reevaluate” him.

“He definitely needs some sort of therapy,” Paulsen said.

Many of the comments on the Cal Coast News and KSBY stories support the UPS driver, saying he was just trying to defend himself. What do you think? Please leave a comment below.

Photo via YouTube

Laura Goldman

I am a freelance writer and lifelong dog lover. For five years, I was a staff writer for i Love Dogs. When that site shut down, I started this blog...because I STILL Love Dogs!