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It’s No Joke: North Carolina Postal Workers Face Dog Attacks Every Day

In April, a group of five dogs attacked North Catawba mail carrier Mary Bolton as she attempted to deliver mail to home of former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield, badly wounding her arms, legs, and shoulders. Last week, a mail man in Greensboro was attacked by a pit bull and rushed to the hospital with puncture wounds.

It’s a stereotype that US Postal Service workers have a fear of dogs – but unfortunately that stereotype has been borne out of truth and facts. Each day across North Carolina, postal carriers and mail men face the near-constant threat of aggressive dogs and dangerous dogs as they delivery mail in neighborhoods across the state.

Here are some interesting dog bite statistics provided recently by the Winston-Salem Journal:

•    In 2010, 3,000 letter carriers across America were attacked by dogs while attempting to deliver the mail.
•    In the Greensboro postal district alone, 21 mail carriers have been bitten by dogs in 2011 alone.
•    Two postal workers in Winston-Salem have been attacked by dogs this year.
•    Postal workers are more likely to be bitten by a dog than any other group of people in the United State except for children.

Why are postal workers so susceptible to dog bites and dog attacks? The workers explain that they are entering a dog’s territory, and many are trying to protect their owners and their property. Groups of dogs and dogs in invisible fences can be some of the most dangerous. Postal workers who are new to the area or who are filling in for coworkers are also prone to attacks.

What do postal workers do to protect themselves? Some carry treats while others carry pepper spray. Some simply learn how to interact with the dogs on his or her route. Some invoke their right to stop mail delivery to a home that has an aggressive dog in the yard.

Those of us who aren’t mail carriers should be very aware of our mail carrier and how our dog reacts to the mailman. Not only is it the polite thing to do and the right thing to do, not protecting your mail carrier from your pets can lead to a dog bite injury and a law suit to boot.