Susana Dawn Burhans
Susana Dawn Burhans, 48, has been arrested on charges of aggravated cruelty to animals in Alabama. Madison County Jail

A postal worker from Alabama has been arrested after allegedly feeding meatballs laced with nails to at least one dog.

Authorities say that US Postal Service worker Susana Burhans was apprehended after she fed the meatballs to a dog in New Hope, around 50 miles north of Birmingham.

The 48-year-old is now charged with aggravated cruelty to animals with investigators examining whether there could have been more dogs targeted.

Capt. Mike Salomonsky of the Madison County Sheriff's Office said that officers began probing a complaint nearly two weeks ago, but at least one other complaint has been filed, meaning there might be additional victims.

"We gathered intelligence from the Postal Service and put everything together," Salomonsky told

"Right now, we know for sure there's one dog. But there's another neighbour that had a complaint, so there might be two or more."

It is believed that Burhans regularly feeds dogs treats on her postal route and one witness, Ed Glover, told WHNT News 19 he found a meatball by the mailbox near where he lives.

He said it was on the ground filled with nails and believes that his dog may have had one as he had taken the dog, named Missy, to the vets where they found nails inside her stomach, claiming he has an x-ray proving this.

Burhans, who was charged on Thursday (1 June), has been a postal worker for more than 21 years, according to reports and is currently on a non-duty status for her work. She has been released from the Madison County Jail on bail.

United States Postal Service (USPS) spokeswoman Jeldrys Lowry said in a statement: "This type of alleged behaviour within the Postal Service is not tolerated and the overwhelming majority of Postal Service employees, which serve the public, are honest, hardworking, and trustworthy individuals who would never consider engaging in any type of criminal behaviour."

It is not clear when Burhans will appear again in court.