ROSE, Okla. -- A mail carrier is accused of running over a dog on private property.
A couple near Locust Grove, Oklahoma says the dog was hit last week when a carrier was delivering a package to their home.
Debra Winterroth and her husband were watching their son's 3-year-old blue heeler while he went on a trip with his girlfriend.
Winterroth called her son and broke the news. Fighting back tears, she said, “He just told me, 'I got to get on the plane quick. What is it?' I told him that his dog got run over and that it was pretty bad and that we're heading to the specialty vet in Tulsa to see if we can save him."
Debra’s husband says he saw the mail truck speeding down their private driveway to deliver a package at the house.
She explained, “The dogs came from down there by those bales of hay, up the center of this drive and he didn't slow down."
Winterroth said the dog laid on the side of the driveway not moving, unable to walk. He suffered a fracture in his left hip with five breaks in his right. “Blue,” as the dog is named, had surgery and a plate put in to stabilize his hip. The dog was able to survive.
Winterroth said, “We were relieved about that, but we were really worried about if the kids could afford it."
Vet bills started piling up to more than $3,000. Winterroth says the postmaster sent her an email apologizing for the incident, saying how saddened she and the carrier are.
The postmaster also said the carrier will slow down knowing there are dogs.
Winterroth explained, “She said that since our dogs were not pinned up or chained up, then those things happen and she repeated several times that they're not liable."
To avoid anything like this from happened again, the Winterroths plan to put a gate at the beginning of their driveway. They've also asked the post office not to have carriers come down their drive.
Winterroth said, “I have a real concern that people think they come on your property and not be responsible for how they act or how they drive. I asked her what if there would've been kids out there."
The couple thinks the carrier is responsible for the injury and hopes the postal service will help pay for the vet bills.
USPS officials say they are working to reach a satisfactory resolution.