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Dog attacks on San Diego postal workers are on the rise

Every profession comes with a set of risks. For some, repetitive typing can lead to conditions such as carpal tunnel. Other workers are in an environment with potentially harmful chemicals. Postal workers in San Diego have another kind of threat: a dog bite. There are ways to mitigate the risks of an animal attacks, and according to statistics, those techniques are becoming more and more necessary.

Last July, a 60-year-old postal worker suffered an attack by a 70-pound female pit bull. The carrier, who was delivering mail at the time, had to undergo multiple surgeries as a result of eight puncture wounds, an injured shoulder and a 4-inch gash in his neck, among other injuries.

Unfortunately, such incidents are on the rise. In 2013, San Diego County had the second-highest reported number of dog attacks on mail carriers in the country. The 101 cases means such incidents have increased every year for the last three years, as there were 75 attacks in 2012 and 68 in 2011. According to the county postmaster, attacks on mail carriers are “inevitable.”

A trainer recently shared tips for warding off an attack with a number of local postal workers, such as putting the mail satchel between their person and the animal. Additionally, the trainer said if a dog does bite and will not let go, a carrier should grab onto the animal’s leg to throw it off balance.

For San Diego residents who suffer an animal bite, there is recourse. Getting in touch with both law enforcement and an attorney immediately is the best way to ensure justice is served. Not only may the dog be removed, but the individual who incurred the attack may stand to receive compensation.

Source: U-T San Diego, “Postal carriers trained to avoid dog bites,” Debbi Baker, March 7, 2014 

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