Postal workers ask pet owners for help
CANTON – Who let the dogs out?
For the sake of your mailman, it is better that no one else does. A man’s best friend is not always so friendly with the man or woman whose job it is to deliver the mail.
A Cantonal factor for eight years, Elizabeth Marks was attacked by a dog in May 2019 while delivering mail to a house.
Doctors used “just two stitches” to close the gaping wounds on her wrist and hand, she said. But, she added, “I have a nasty scar. I’m left-handed, but now I wear a watch on my left hand to cover it. Genius, I guess.”
The dog’s owners never apologized. The dog was never removed from the house. He’s always there when she drops the mail at every house nearby – her owners are now required to collect their mail from a PO box they have to pay for.
“There are still a few dogs that scare me when they’re outside. I don’t know what they’re going to do, so I’m always on top of the situation,” Marks said.
Hot summer days for postal carriers
As summer invites people – and their dogs – outside, postal officers are encouraging pet owners to prepare and practice prevention. This week is National Dog Bite Awareness Week.
“The hot summer days are here,” said David P. Coleman of the US Postal Service in Washington, DC
More than 5,800 postal workers were attacked by dogs last yearhe said, adding that the number of incidents was higher last year than in 2019, mainly because the pandemic has resulted in more goods being delivered to homes.
Ohio ranked third among the worst states for postal dog bites, preceded only by California and Texas, according to Postal Service statistics. California was No.1 with 782 cases, Texas No.2 with 402, and Ohio had 369.
Meanwhile, Canton was No. 20 in the country last year for most dog attacks against letter carriers. The number of reported dog bites remained stable for two consecutive years, with local factors reporting 18 dog bites in 2019 and 2020. Even New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle had fewer dog attacks against carriers. .
Houston (73), Chicago (59), Los Angeles (54), Cleveland (46) and Denver (44) were the top five cities in the country. Many Ohio communities were on the list: Columbus (37, tied for eighth), Cincinnati (26, tied for 14th), Toledo (22, tied for 16th) and Dayton (19, tied for 19th).
Why are there so many bites?
Locally, the number of dog bites and related incidents has more than doubled from just four years ago.
“We have issues with the kids at home constantly opening the doors of the house and then the dog walking past them. It’s a huge issue right now,” said Robin Sarian, North District Security Officer. Ohio for Postal Service. “There are a lot of dogs roaming free and with everyone still at home due to COVID, our dog bites are on the rise in our district 45% more than they were last year around the same time. I know it’s all because of COVID. “
Five years ago, in 2016, the Canton area experienced 10 dog attacks, bites and / or “incidents where the dog chased us,” she said.
In 2017, the Post had seven. In 2018, cantonal postmen reported nine attacks, bites or incidents of dogs.
“It has practically doubled (in Canton) in just a few years,” Sarian said, adding that she was not sure why. “We see too much going on and it’s really important to me that all of our carriers get home the same way they came to work that day – safe and secure.”
How are postal carriers reacting?
Letter carriers should take dog repellant spray with them when delivering the daily mail.
The spray is a blend of cayenne pepper extract and mineral oil. Coleman said in an email that the American Kennel Club, American Humane Association, Popular Dogs Publishing Company and Humane Society in the United States have expressed no objections to its use.
He also said owners of dog (s) who pose a threat to postal carriers “could be responsible for medical bills, lost wages, uniform replacement costs, and pain and suffering. pain”.
The Postal Service has several programs to encourage security measures.
Last fall he launched his Dog Paw program as a safety initiative to prevent incidents. Yellow and orange stickers are placed on mailboxes to alert carriers of a potential canine threat.
While letter carriers are concerned about potential dog attacks, that doesn’t mean they don’t like dogs.
Marks has a cat and two dogs, one of which is a basset hound and the other a chocolate Labrador.
Canton postman recounts the attack
She said she knew there were two dogs in the house where she was attacked. They are usually indoors.
“I had just dropped the mail in the mailbox at their front door,” Marks said. “It was the first day of summer for the kids and they went to get the mail. They were dogs inside, dogs that I don’t normally see.”
When the children opened the door, the dogs ran out. An American Bulldog and a Rottweiler trapped her on the porch. Then the bulldog attacked.
Marks remembers neighbors hearing her scream and rushing over to find her bloody. She called her supervisor and her husband, who was nearby. He took her to the hospital.
“The post office has discontinued their service, but unfortunately (I) still have to deliver home before and after them,” Marks said.
“You are still on high alert because the dog may be outside in their own back yard. These dogs are now, from time to time, in a fenced back yard, not in the front,” Marks said.
She said she hopes dog owners will be more aware of the issues she and her colleagues face when delivering mail and “be more responsible as a dog owner to always check your surroundings when you open them. Doors When mail arrives, please close your door even if you have a screen door … And please teach your children to handle your dog in situations like these.
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