SEATTLE (AP) _ Mail carriers shall not be deterred by ''snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night,'' but then most of them don't have to deal with Brutus the pit bull terrier.

Brutus, a year-old, 40-pound, three-quarter pit bull whose owner calls him ''my baby,'' has stopped mail delivery to 19 households in his western Seattle neighborhood.

''I'm plain mad,'' said Eve Skibba, 73, who hasn't had mail delivered for a week, since the postal service alleged that the Brutus snapped his chain and chased a letter carrier down the street.

''I can't foresee sitting here for weeks to come because the animal control, the cops and the post office can't do anything,'' she said. ''It's a stalemate.''

Lou Kush, the acting carrier supervisor at the west Seattle post office, said mail delivery was stopped at Brutus' owner's home a month ago because of ''a dog hazard.''

Then, on Oct. 25, ''the dog broke the leash and chased a carrier, a woman substitute. She ran, and didn't look back,'' he said.

The U.S. Postal Service stopped delivery to all the houses on both sides of the block, standard procedure when a major dog problem exists, Kush said. The residents were notified that they could pick up their mail at the post office.

City animal control officers say there is nothing they can do if the animal is on private property.

''A control officer went out and talked to the owner of the dog, but our problem is we have to observe an infraction before we can act,'' said Delores Petty, operations manager of the division of animal control.

She said the division could take action to remove the dog if neighbors signed a petition calling the dog a nuisance.

Brutus' owner, Danny Kunkel, threatened that ''if anyone tries to take my dog, I don't care who it is, I'll blow his head off. That dog's my baby.''

Kunkel, 25, denied that Brutus got off his chain. ''He never chased anybody,'' he said. ''He's on a quarter-inch chain with a big Master padlock. No way he got loose last Saturday.''