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Texas letter carriers exposed to dog bite risk

With 26 letter carriers having been attacked by dogs in Fort Worth in 2013, the city is ranked 16th in the country for such attacks, according to the U.S. Postal Service. Overall, 5,581 letter carriers were attacked in the United States, and many of the attacks occurred in older neighborhoods where the mail has to be delivered through door slots.

One woman was bitten in the leg by a dog while working in the southeast part of the city. On Aug. 3, 2003, she took note that a pit bull was missing from where it was normally tied up. After preparing herself, she continued with her task, but the dog soon bit her in the leg, causing a gash that required 10 stitches to close. The dog had originally aimed for her head, but she managed to fend off that attack with her mail satchel.

To lower the odds of being attacked by dogs, postal service employees are armed with a spray that contains a small amount of cayenne pepper. Employees are also quick to warn other employees of potential danger spots or will skip houses where dogs are not tied up. It is also common for postal workers to call the proper authorities when dogs are spotted walking around without leashes. Dog owners who do not have their animals leashed when off their properties could pay fines of up to $2,000.

An individual who has suffered broken bones, suffered a deep flesh wound or has had excessive bleeding due to a dog bit may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other expenses related to the bite. A personal injury attorney could explain the state laws regarding the strict liability of an animal owner in the event of an attack.

Source: News & Observer, “For letter carriers, dog bites are a constant threat”, Diane Smith, May 30, 2014