by Diane Tuazon
MIDLAND - It could be the smell of envelopes, or all the junk mail that's getting dogs riled up in Midland.
Lately, the U.S. Postal Service in Midland says dogs are attacking the letter carriers while they're on their daily routes.
"In particular the dogs are more active right now because the kids are out of school and the dogs tend to get territorial and they come after the mail carriers unfortunately," Manager Chito Ramirez, said.
Postman Jerry Reyes says it's nothing new. He was attacked last year.
"I was deliverying mail on Ohio Street and I was walking away, the dog pushed the gate open and of course within a matter of seconds, the dog attacked me," Reyes said.
That was enough to prompt Manager Chito Ramirez to begin safety talks with his employees before each shift.
"Just be aware when they open the door, always put your foot on the screen so they can't push it open. The dogs have a tendency to jump over, so we need to remind them of all that," Ramirez said..
Reyes says he's prepared in case things go sour. Now, he carries more than just the mail when he visits each neighborhood.
"When we walk routes we carry our satchel and on that is a dog mase in case we are attacked. We use the bag so they can bite that instead and maybe I'll have time to get away and spray the dog if possible," Reyes said.
Postal Service officials say ultimately, it's the owner's responsiblity to keep their pets on a leash.
"The carriers are at your house pretty much at the same time everyday, so if you know that you have a dog and it's loose, please put them away at the time the carrier is coming by; there's a leash law, so protect us from your dogs," Ramirez said.