It sounds cliche, but dogs really do attack mail delivery people when they drop off the mail. The problem is quite serious. In fact, the United States Postal Service has sought the help of residents of South Carolina and asked them to step up and help protect mail carriers from dog bites and attacks.
Delivering the Mail Isn’t Always A Safe Job
A mail carrier’s job requires hand delivering mail. At some residences, the mail person merely has to place the mail in the resident’s mailbox, which could be located at the street, or near the front door of the residence. Sometimes mail needs to be delivered through a slot in the front door of the residence. While delivery of the mail is usually a relatively easy and safe job to perform, when ferocious and protective pooches hear or get wind of the mail person, they can get agitated and excited, or even become threatened.
Dogs can get very riled up and excited by the mail delivery person. Sometimes postal workers are even attacked and bitten. Greenville Online reports that more than 30 mail carriers in South Carolina have been attacked or bitten by dogs while delivering the mail. The U.S. Postal service conducts an annual safety survey for its employees and during 2014, it found that dog attacks and bites were on the rise. Dog bite incidents occurred in the following South Carolina cities:
- 6 incidents – Greenville
- 3 incidents – Anderson and Charleston
- 2 incidents – Columbia, Lexington and Abbeville
- 1 incident – Bennettsville, Chapin, Cheraw, Gaffney, Gaston, Greenwood, Hilton Head Island, Inman, Irmo, Myrtle Beach, Neeses, Orangeburg, Pacolet, Ridgeville and Woodruff.
While the postal employees are trained on how to avoid getting bitten by dogs while out on the delivery route, dog owners sometimes are irresponsible with their dogs, and place the mail carriers in danger. Dogs have been known to break through screen and even glass windows to get at mail carriers.
Request For Help and Raising Awareness
The Postal Service is attempting to raise awareness about dog bites and attacks by sending out letters to the areas where the dog bites were reported in 2014. The letters remind dog owners about safe practices for keeping dogs restrained and secured. If the dogs are not restrained or secured, and are found to be roaming about or running loose and appear to be dangerous, the postal employees will not deliver the mail and the dog’s owner will need to pick up their mail from the Post Office.
Dog Bites Are Serious
Under South Carolina law, a dog owner is held strictly liable for injuries his or her dog causes. This is because a dog can do serious harm to a person if it is excited, agitated or threatened. Dog bites have been known to cause significant, permanent injuries or even death. If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, the dog’s owner may be liable.