Live pet fish arrives dead after homeowner says USPS misdelivered package

BRIGHTON, Colo. -- Homeowners are upset at the U.S. Postal Service and are asking for help after a slew of mailbox malfunctions.

“Weekly someone says, ‘Hey, so and so got your mail’ or ‘Has anyone seen my package? It says it was delivered and it wasn’t’,” resident Erin Brebis said.

She lives in the area of U.S. 85 and Highway 7 in Brighton where neighbors complain mail carriers are regularly seen delivering around 10:30 p.m.

“It is dark. They’re out there with flashlights trying to put it in the correct box, which is maybe why some of the mail isn’t in there,” Laura Morgan said.

A spokesman for the Post Office said carriers “deliver every day and sometimes that extends into the evening hours. But no mail is delayed.”

“You know maybe a couple here and there or one day of missed mail I understand but leaving people’s private information wide open?” Brebis said.

The homes in her neighborhood are spread out on large lots, so homeowners use a central mailbox system, similar to an apartment building.

Brebis took a photo of what she describes as an incident where the mail carrier left the door to the unit open and accessible to anyone.

“I get my checks for work in the mail,” she said. “And so to not get those or not know if someone else is going to get those is concerning.”

“It’s just frustrating. It’s disappointing. It’s crazy,” Morgan said.

She is one of several neighbors who have complained about missing or misdelivered packages.

“I ordered saltwater fish on a two-day delivery and it wasn’t there,” she said.

Morgan said she found the package a day after it was supposed to be delivered.

Instead of it appearing on her doorstep, like a stick next to the shipping label instructs, the box was left inside one of the package lockers in the community mailbox.

She said the three fish inside, which were worth $350, were dead when she opened the package.

“People say, ‘Oh, they’re just fish.’ But they’re not," she said. “They’re beautiful ... and when they die it’s heartbreaking.”

She considers her fish her children and just as important as any other pet.

“We apologize for any service issues that have been experienced in the Brighton area," the USPS said in a statement. "The community has experienced rapid growth and we have hired more than 30 employees over the last few months to address the needs.

"As these employees have been trained and deployed, we believe the situation will only continue to improve."

The USPS also said it is working to resolve issues involving misdelivered mail by improving employee accuracy.