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Is It Illegal to Mail Poop?

Poop typically doesn't arrive via delivery or in your mailbox, but when it does, it can be breaking news.

For example, an Iowa woman is facing criminal charges for allegedly mailing cow feces to her neighbors in response to their complaints about her dog barking. According to United Press International, the woman is now facing third-degree harassment charges, and must appear in court on Tuesday.

So is it illegal to mail poop to someone?

With Poop, It's the Thought That Counts

There's nothing especially dangerous about poop, and you wouldn't be branded as a terrorist for pranking around with poo. But like the classic "flaming bag of poo" prank, it's the intent behind the poop that counts as far as the law is concerned.

In many states, there are harassment laws that make it a criminal offense to commit various acts with intent to annoy, harass, or intimidate another person. It was Iowa's harassment laws that snared dookie deliverer Kimberly Capdevila, because police and her neighbors suspect she sent the feces-laden package with intent to harass.

A poop-harassment case may be difficult to prosecute, however, as the defendant could always say that the dung delivery was intended as a joke, not as harassment. Prosecutors may use the circumstances surrounding the poop's arrival to point to the real intent.

Can You Legally Have Poop Shipped to Someone?

While it's illegal to harass others by sending them poop, it's entirely legal to get poop shipped to someone (or even to yourself) for entertainment or gag purposes. The makers of the raunchy humor-themed Cards Against Humanity game legally shipped approximately 30,000 customers a box of poop from a live bull. According to LAist, the game creators advertised a box of "bulls--t" for $6 on Black Friday, and they delivered on their advertising promises -- in the tens of thousands.

Other websites such as PoopSenders.com exist solely for the purpose of sending animal feces sent to "neighbors," "your mean boss," or "ex-husband." But there's a catch: PoopSenders has a legal disclaimer noting that the poop packages are for "entertainment ONLY" and not for unlawful or harassment purposes.

So if you decide to mail poop to someone, consider your intent before your criminal record hits the fan.

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