Last year alone, 3212 letter carriers were bitten by dogs in this country. This is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, and because so many mail men have to deal with this problem, the Lexington Post Office had two recent bite victims relate their stories today.
Letter carrier Brad Coulter told 27 NEWSFIRST, "I had delivered mail to a house on a day it was snowing and sleeting, and as I walked away, the lady opened the door to ask me a question and the dog ran out between her legs. He was on me in a second. It bit me on the leg and then jumped up and had a hold of my hand and the mail, and the whole time I was trying to get my dog spray off my satchel. The owner had told me the dog would never bite me. She said it had never bitten anyone."
And almost invariably, that's what owners claim when their unrestrained dogs attack mail carriers. There is currently a proposal before city council that would beef up the Animal Control staff.
Councilman Kevin Stinnett says, "Ten years ago, we had 12 Animal Control officers on the street. Unfortunately, that has been reduced to 6 over time due to funding problems, but the mayor has proposed to double that number at the recommendation of the Dog Task Force that I chaired last year."
Animal Control Officer Tim Mitchell told the media today one thing letter carriers should do if approached by a dog is assume a non threatening stance, but Mike Boley didn't even have time to think about his stance.
He recalls, "When I came around the truck, that unleashed dog was no more than 3 feet from me. I tried to get my satchel up between us but he hit me so hard I just went down."
So now most Lexington letter carriers err on the side of safety and operate on one simple theory: IF IT'S GOT TEETH, IT'LL BITE.