Postal Service Says Dog Attacks Against Workers on the Rise

HAGERSTOWN, MD - The Postal Service says dogs are attacking more and more mail-carriers while they are working.

According to a recent Postal Service report, 5,669 workers were attacked on the job in 2010. Officials also say medical expenses after attacks cost $1.2 million in 2010.

Adam Wade works at the post office on West Franklin Street in Hagerstown. Wade has been delivering mail for four years and says he's been bitten once before. He also says he had another close call when a dog charged towards him, breaking through a glass door.

"The glass went all over me, I had them in my shoes, and luckily the dog could not escape through the door," says Wade. "I would not have been able to run with glass in my shoes," he says jokingly.

Workers get training on what to do during an attack and also carry mace, but a supervisor at the branch, Mike Brown says pet owners should realize their dogs are capable of attacking people if they feel threatened.

"The story we hear all the time is that's a nice dog, he won't bite," says Brown. "But the carriers don't live there, [so] the dog looks at them as an intruder."

Some home owners have purchased special collars that sends the dogs messages as they approach a restricted area. The collars prevent the dogs from attacking anyone outside the restricted zone.

Officials with the Postal Service say they can postpone mail delivery if mail carriers face extreme threats.

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