Dog Hit By FedEx Truck, Owner Waits to Hear From FedEx

Video and photos: Golden retriever hit by truck two weeks ago, and as the bills mount up, Sherry Paisley waits to hear from FedEx.


On August 1, FedEx driver Zachary Bunns pulled into Sherry Paisley's driveway on Walnut Tree Road.  Leaving a package at the back door, the driver returned to his truck and backed out.  Paisley was in the house and heard her dog cry out and when she ran to the door, all she saw was a strip of blood and blond fur where her eight-year-old golden retriever Gracie had been dragged.

Paisley called the police, and looked throughout the neighborhood but could not find Gracie.  Two weeks later, Paisley still looks shaken as she recalls that afternoon, “I was all by myself, and it was so hot outside.”

Luckily, one neighbor said she had seen Gracie across the road by Albert’s Tree Farm so they knew she had survived, but Paisley and neighbors were unable to find the dog.

Municipal Animal Control officer Carolee Mason came to the house and spent more than an hour looking for Gracie in the woods and the swamp. Mason said, “I was in my uniform, and my shift ended at 4, and I told Sherry I would just go home and change, and come back in my clothes.”

Mason came back in a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops, and went deeper into the woods across the street. For another two hours, she went to all of the houses nearby and looked under every pine tree in the woods. 

“I went by the old Alberts Tree Farm and and wondered where could this dog have gone.  I went back into the swamp and the mosquitos were terrible.  Then I saw about 50 yards away, this blond lump.  I called Gracie and her head popped up.  She was so happy to see me.”

Mason said swarms of flies had laid eggs in the deep gash on Gracie’s head.  Covered with mud and grime from being dragged and running into the swamp,  Mason said, “It looked like her ear was going to fall off. I saw she couldn’t walk very well, so I picked her up and carried her out of the swamp.”

Mason gave kudos to the Newtown Veterinary Specialists, 52 Church Hill Road, who attended to Gracie’s wounds.  “They came out with a gurney as we pulled up with Gracie," Mason said. "They are top-notch."

Paisley contacts FedEx

Paisley said she has been very upset with the lack of attention from FedEx. The driver had returned to his base in Danbury that day, and he reported to his supervisor that he had run over the dog, but no one contacted Paisley. 

Paisley said that for several days, she made calls to FedEx that went unreturned. She also said that she placed calls to the Broadspire Risk Management, which was handling the case for FedEx, and for three days was told that her questions could not be answered because the computers were down. It was a week before she was given a claim number.

A call on Wednesday to the FedEx Corporation in Memphis resulted in an explanation from Media Relations Scott Fiedler. “Our policy is to do everything possible to avoid this kind of thing and to take each case seriously.  Each case is unique and on a case by case basis,” he said.

When asked if FedEx would pay for the more than $5,000 in veterinary bills, Fiedler responded, “We want to make sure Gracie receives the care she needs for as long as it takes.”  

When asked if that meant FedEx would pay those bills, he said, “Broadspire Risk Management will conduct the investigation for us. Like with all claims, they will do an investigation and recommendation.

"It is difficult to say in any claim, especially with the dog still undergoing treatment, and we don’t know yet how long that treatment will be.  You don’t want to close a claim too soon. We are working with Ms. Paisley and we want to receive the whole picture.”

Fiedler said that while he had not spoken with Paisley since last week, that did not mean the claim was not active.  “We want folks to know our hearts go out to Ms. Paisley and Gracie, and we are working to resolve this with Ms. Paisley.  We wish Gracie a speedy recovery and we want to thank Animal Control Officer Mason for her hard work.  We are glad she was able to find Gracie and get her the medical attention she needed.”

Later that day, Broadspire contacted Paisley to ask about bills, which they asked her to fax to them.  Paisley referred them to the veterinary office.

Other than that, Paisley has not received a phone call from FedEx in over a week. “I do not feel any compassion here,”  she said.  “I feel totally ignored.  They may be working on it, but how would I know that?” 

Claudia Cooper August 16, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Thank you to Carolee for finding the dog.
Terry Laslo August 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Gracie is one lucky dog! Carolee you rock!
Alex Tytler August 16, 2012 at 12:23 PM
It's a problem. Our UPS guy is great, but he gives the dogs dog treats which conditions them to come to the truck, the last thing I want them to do.
Sam Mihailoff August 16, 2012 at 12:38 PM
My suggestion would be not to attempt a trial on Patch....already a quote stated that there was an eight-foot tire strrak in the driveway...impossible by laws of physics and certainly will be scooped up by the lawyers associated by Fedex. Thus far, you have proved: 1- - dog was outside 2- - dog yelped 3- - package was found leaning against house 4- - dog missing 5- - wonderful, marvelous, fantastic canine control officer located dog 6- - dog was injured Good luck proving that FedEx is the responsible party though...Glad doggie is on the mend.
Jackie zVon August 16, 2012 at 12:44 PM
The real shame here is that when the driver hit the dog, NOTHING was done about it. Not even when he reported it to his supervisor! What were they hoping - that the dog died, and no one would pin it on them? Anyone with a heart would have gone up to the door and told the owner, and called the police/animal control. Thank God for Carolee finding that poor suffering dog, and getting her the medical attention that she needed.
dave T August 16, 2012 at 01:11 PM
She should absolutely seek damages from fedex... they are adsurd with the speed they rip through the neighborhoods in the area... only a matter of time before a child is run over. I Don't blame the drivers as much as the company with their time quotas.. It should be revisited for this route as I live close-by and can attest they are too aggressive and fast for the neighborhood...
S Moore August 16, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Not nearly as serious, but FedEx took out my mailbox a month ago and won't return my calls. These people need to start acting like they care about the world they live in.
JRG August 16, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Chap. 248, Sec. 14-226 states that drivers who injure or kill a dog must stop at once, render assistance, and report the injury to the owner, or if unable to find him, to the police, giving name, address, oper. lic.#, location and description of dog, etc. Violation of this law is an infraction.
Paula Antolini August 16, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Carolee Mason deserves special recognition in her diligence in finding the lost and injured pet. Her perseverance is to be commended. Good work Ms. Mason! I wish a speedy recovery to Gracie, Ms. Paisley. Excellent full coverage of this story too, Christine Rose.
Mr D. August 16, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Poor doggie. Its owner bears responsibility though. Dogs should not be let offleash in a suburban environment. Too many opportunities to get hit by cars, attacked by coyotes or bitten by rabid animals. No later than this morning, while walking my dog (on leash) we encountered an offleash dog. This almost resulted in a dogfight (an on-leash dog will always feel threatened by an offleash dog.) You can bet the owner would have heard from my attorney had injuries resulted. In addition to being a nuisance, an off leash dog can expose its owner to legal action if it bite or causes an accident; in many New England communities officers can shoot a dog that is running after a deer; most towns have ordinances mandating dogs to be contained (fenced in) or on leash. Dogs should only be off leash in a fenced backyard, a dog pen or at the dog park, not on the street or an unfenced yard.
Leslie Yager August 16, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Amazing work by Animal Control officer Carolee Mason! That's dedication!
Aileen August 16, 2012 at 05:50 PM
While I absolutely feel horrible for Ms. Paisley and her dog Gracie, I feel that this article, as well as the one in the Newtown Bee is very one sided. I also feel it is inappropriate to name the Fedex driver. When reporting, get both sides to the story. Did you try calling Fedex yourself for a statement?
Robert Dahm August 16, 2012 at 06:47 PM
14-226 of Connecticut General statutes states that a driver who does not render assistance to any injured dog or notify police or the owner is subject to a $ 117.00 fine. Did the fed ex driver call police or notify the owner? Simply telling your supervisor falls far short and the driver should be ticketed. Read the law !
Clare August 16, 2012 at 08:22 PM
FedEx and UPS drivers all back up all the time, so they can make a quick getaway. I had a confrontation with a UPS driver last year. I called their complaint line and told them that if he delivered to my house again, I would call the police. I never saw him again.
Cheryl Lynne O August 16, 2012 at 10:18 PM
I feel really bad for the dog. and yes, New York State also has a law like that for the cats[ and dogs, other pets] that get hit on roadways; higher fine like $500 I believe. Not to be in bad taste, but back when I lived in Southbury , I was riding my mountain bicycle along Purchase Brook Rd. when one of these [ expletive] Fed-Ex drivers flew by at well over 45-50 MPH! UPS is just as bad, they literally rolled down Lake Court in Heritage Village, a cul-de-sac, at 30 MPH![ limit 20-25 in HV] I joked, talking to myself thinking of the UPS commercials on NFL games, I said " UPS, running over your cats, kids, and dogs at the ' speed of business!" Compared to our USPS which always follows speed limits; they give their guys and gals so much work to do that they cannot get it done without " driving like hell to get there." UPS owes you, the owner damages, the vet bills plus for " emotional distress" for both your family and the dog! get a good " ambulance chaser" attorney who will " clean their [ financial] clock" for them!
Christine Rose (Editor) August 16, 2012 at 10:33 PM
If you read the story, FedEx gave a statement that was included in at least two paragraphs. Yes, I did speak with them, and believe they received fair coverage.
Chris August 16, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Besides the fact that the driver reported to his supervisor that he Ran. Over. The. Dog.
Mary Jaeger August 16, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Isn't it illegal to hit a dog and flee the scene?
maggie August 17, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Carolee has a big heart, but who would change INTO shorts and flip flops to trudge through woods and a mosquito-ridden swamp to find a dog?
Ted B August 18, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I totally agree. Dogs should never be off lease outside unless in a fenced in yard. It sounds like this dog was just outside hanging around. The owner does have some responsibility in this situation that it sounds like she is not willing to accept. Never let your dog stay loose outside alone.
Ted B August 18, 2012 at 04:50 PM
that's off leash, not off lease! lol


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