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Love your dog? Protect your mailman

Mail carriers and pet dogs have a long and sordid history -- to the point where "mailman versus dog" has become a pop culture trope. Unfortunately, Cleveland has a particularly bad problem when it comes to interactions between mail carriers and dogs.

According to a recent report, Cleveland ranks No. 1 on the list of worst cities in Ohio when it comes to dog attacks on mail carriers. There were 50 incidents of mail carriers being bitten in 2018 in the city. Columbus came in second in the state with a mere 37 bites for the year. For the record, that makes Cleveland the fourth worst city in the entire nation for dog bites involving postal carriers.

In general, northern Ohio is not great about protecting mail carriers from dog bites. Out of 304 total bites, 165 occurred in just Cleveland, Youngstown, Akron, Canton and Toledo. This may indicate a general cultural attitude toward dogs in the area that just isn't safe.

The United States Postal Service is asking dog owners to take precautions to prevent incidents between pet dogs and letter carriers. These reminders include:

  • Loose dogs can be everyone's problem. If it's unsafe for your letter carrier to deliver because of loose dogs in the neighborhood, you can be asked to pick up your own mail at the post office -- even if it isn't your dog that's loose.
  • Keep your own dog restrained when it is outside. A leash in the owner's presence is important. Fences also keep both pets and letter carriers safe.
  • Don't ask the letter carrier to hand you or your children your mail directly. Your dog may take that as a threatening gesture toward your family and attack.

Nobody wants their dog to end up on the "vicious dog" list -- or put down because of a bite that could have been prevented. Take appropriate precautions to protect both your pet and your letter carrier.

If you are injured by a dog bite, make sure that you get experienced legal advice regarding your potential for a claim. Dog bites can leave you with massive scars and complications you don't expect from infection, so don't hesitate to seek both treatment and a legal consultation.

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