Mail delivery to 13 homes on a west-side street has been discontinued because of a problem with threatening dogs, Postal Service officials say.

Residents of the homes involved will have to pick up mail at a post office until a centrally located multi-unit box is installed on the block, possibly next week."Over the past few months there has been a real problem with dogs along this block with five of 13 homes having dogs," said postal spokesman Brian Sperry.

He said there has been no delivery for the past three weeks because the problem still exists, even though dog owners were notified twice.

However, one longtime resident disputes the Postal Service claims.

"As for a dog problem, it's a laugh," said John Olsen who has lived on the street since 1974. "Why should they stop delivering mail here, there's no problem. I've never had a dog myself, and if you look around you'll see three houses with dogs in fenced yards and mailboxes outside the fences.

The 80-year-old Olsen said he gets a lot of Medicare mail and now has to go to the post office to pick it up.

"Why should they discriminate or penalize us?" he asked. "Somebody said it was done to make us an example of what could be done in other areas."

Sperry said the area was not singled out. In some other parts of the valley, mail to individual homes has been discontinued because of threats to carriers by animals, he said.