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Warmer weather could bring more dog bites to postal workers

Signs of spring are everywhere, but for some people; warmer weather brings more than just flowers and outdoor gatherings. For postal workers in Ohio, the recent warm weather can mean more loose dogs disrupting their routes. Dog owners want their furry companions to enjoy the nice weather, but sometimes forget to make sure their pets are properly restrained.

A report by the United States Postal Service showed postal workers suffering 2,613 dog attacks and bites nationally last year. This year, there have already been 1,005 bites from both large and small dogs alike.

According to one postal worker, the cause of most bites stems from dog owners. Many let their dog out without proper restraint. This particular worker has learned to use his mail bag as a shield and if necessary, he uses dog repellent spray.

According to the Chief Animal Control Officer in Cleveland, Ohio, animal bites have not yet escalated this year. He urges property owners to make sure they properly control their pets and warns them that if their dog is loose, they may be required to pay a $150 fine. Also, an owner whose dog bites another person could end up paying a heftier fine of $1,000, with a risk of six months in jail added to that penalty.

Postal workers usually drive fixed routes and deliver mail at the same time each day so dog owners should keep their dogs in the house when their mail is delivered. The same rule should apply for other types of deliveries or home visitors.

Dog bites do happen, and with more dogs outside as the weather warms up, bites may happen more frequently. If an individual or their loved one has been injured by a dog or other type of animal on someone else's property, they may want to contact an experienced attorney to guide them through the legal process and make sure they are properly compensated for any physical or psychological injury they may have endured.

Source: Newsnet5, "Post office warns dog bites will increase in warm weather," Kristin Byrne, March 21, 2012

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