You’re expecting a delivery from USPS and have received a “Delivery Exception Animal Interference” tracking update.
What does this mean exactly? Is the status as obvious as it sounds? Is there anything you need to do after receiving this alert?
Let’s take a look…
Summary: Delivery Exception Animal Interference
The “Delivery Exception Animal Interference” status update is sent when the USPS mail carrier is unable to complete the delivery due to the possibility of harm from an animal. Commonly this will be a dog blocking access to the premises/mailbox, however, a stray dog, wild animal, and a bees nest could be the cause of the update if the carrier feels at threat when attempting delivery.
Delivery Exception Animal Interference – Guide
This is one of the more self-explanatory tracking updates from USPS. “Animal Interference” can mean any animal that prevents the mail carrier from reaching the mailbox delivery point at the destination address.
Whether it is a dog yapping at the front gates or a swarm of wasps circling the pavement, if the USPS mail person feels at threat carrying out the delivery, they will be able to move onto another address and mark your delivery as “Delivery Exception Animal Interference”.
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Where is Your Mail Item After a “Delivery Exception Animal Interference” Alert?
Your mail is still with USPS after you receive this alert. It is basically stating that the delivery could not be carried out. Shortly after the update is sent, the item will still be with the mail carrier.
At the end of the delivery day, however, it will be back at the post office or USPS facility.
What to do After a “Delivery Exception Animal Interference” Update?
Due to the fact the mail person was unable to reach your mailbox (there was an animal in the way of course), you will not have received any attempted delivery slip (Form 3849).
This means you will have to revert to your tracking page for more information on the location of your mail item and the next steps to take.
In most cases, your update should contain the information contained in the screenshot above. The time of the attempted delivery will be stated, along with confirmation that your mail item will go out for delivery on the next business day.
Note the “as conditions permit”, and the end of the notification. This simply means that you will need to ensure that any possible animal threat is removed.
By doing this you will be able to either arrange to pick up the item or find out when the next delivery attempt will take place.
Conspiracy Theory? Using the Update as an Excuse
If you conduct a Google search for “Delivery Exception Animal Interference” you will find forum comments on the first page of the search results with a running theme.
Namely, mail carriers use this status alert to cover up the fact that they failed to reach a particular address that day.
Maybe they wanted to leave work earlier or ran out of time. Either way, the alert is said to be a convenient (almost untraceable way) of pretending an attempted delivery was made when in fact it was not.
Clearly, the update will be used in this way at times. However, it is my opinion that the forums contain a disproportionate representation of this.
Disgruntled customers are more likely to complain and spout opinions on the internet, after all.
That being said, if you were at the delivery location at the time of the stated attempt, do not have a pet, and are confident that you have received the update untruthfully, you would be well in your right to contact the post office for a more detailed explanation and potentially make a complaint.
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Essentially, the “Delivery Exception Animal Interference” status alert is telling you that the delivery didn’t take place because an animal prevented access.
Whether you consider this an excuse on the behalf of the mail carrier or a legitimate reason for not receiving your mail, you should take note of the tracking page for the scheduled delivery reattempt, or contact your local post office for more information.
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂