Postal workers see 3 percent increase in dog attacks

Postal workers see 3 percent increase in dog attacks

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - According to the US postal service, there were thousands of dog attacks on postal workers last year.

There were 6,755 postal employees attacked by dogs in 2016, this is a 3 percent increase from the year before.

The Centers for Disease Control says each year there are over 4 million dog bites in the U.S.

But there are safety measures a mail carrier can take to prevent a dog attack from happening.

If a letter carrier feels threatened by a dog, the dog is roaming, or not on a leash the worker does not have to deliver the mail to that location or residence.

Instead the person will be asked to pick up their mail at the local post office.

Mail carrier Haley Granado was on a walking route when she was bit by a dog.

She hand delivered the mail to someone outside, where the trained dog was in the yard, and once she handed the mail and turned around the dog grabbed her calf.

She said she's learned from her experience.

"Never approach a person with a dog there even if it is trained, they have to have it either on a leash or behind a fence or inside," Granado said.

The post office has training specifically on situations like hers.

"We actually carry a satchel, we carry dog mase, that I actually have on me, at all times," she said.

It's easy to keep your dog tamed and put away when a mail man is delivering mail, but Granado said still many people have them roaming.

"They don't always bark when they approach you," Granado said. "So treat all of them as a threat. Not friendly, because there not always."

Granado said dog attacks tend to happen when a postal worker is on a newer route.

Once a worker has been on the same route for a while she said the dogs will tend to get used to the same worker coming to deliver the mail.

Copyright 2017 KWES. All rights reserved.