The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local News

March 21, 2014

Danger from dog bites increases with warmer weather

ANDERSON — As spring begins to creep into the area, more and more people are taking advantage of the mild conditions to enjoy outdoor activities.

Joni Brinkman, director of Community Hospital Anderson’s emergency department, says with the increased activity, dog bites will spike.

“We see about four or five dog bites a week, but in the summer time when the kids are out playing, we will see more,” Brinkman said.

The United States Postal Service is also concerned about dog bites when it comes to the safety of its letter carriers.

This week, residents in Madison County received a postcard from the postmaster stating that pet owners can be held responsible for medical expenses and other costs if a postal worker is bitten.

The postcard also states that if an unrestrained dog poses a threat to a letter carrier, mail delivery to the address is suspended.

“In the last four years, approximately 600 Indiana letter carriers have been bitten and/or attacked by dogs,” the postcard states. “The owners of many canines involved in those attacks believed their pet would never bite.

“Responsible pet ownership includes making sure pets are properly restrained.”

Edward Moore, manager of communications for the Great Lakes Area United States Postal Service, said the postcard was not sent nationwide and each post office sends the postcards out at their discretion.

“May is dog bite prevention week and we try to promote national dog bite awareness, but each postal district may handle it differently,” Moore said.

Each postcard design can also vary. Madison County's features a picture of a Doberman.

“There is no particular reason why a Doberman is pictured,” Moore said. “Detroit uses a German Shepherd, and I’ve seen pit bulls and a little terrier. It may be someone’s pet, but they can all be territorial. We are not singling out one particular type of dog. We want people to be responsible pet owners across the board.”

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