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Dogs can be hazardous to mail carriers doing their jobs

Editor:

This letter is in response to the recent editorial titled “Could this happen you.” Two homeowners were asked to move their mailboxes after multiple safety concerns for the carriers were documented. The author felt the request was unjust.

I’d like to take the opportunity to address the issue. The primary concern was the presence of a dog on the premises. While dog owners are quick to say, “My dog doesn’t bite,” local and national statistics tell a different story. Last year, 66 postal carriers in Western New York were victims of dog attacks; 5,900 nationally. Recently, one of our Springville carriers joined this statistic; the victim of a dog attack that required medical attention and unfortunately, the removal of the dog.

Some of these attacks are so severe, carriers sustain serious injuries that result in physical, emotional and financial hardships. Ultimately, the owner is responsible for any injury that is sustained on his or her property. In fact, the New York Times reported nearly $500 million was paid out in dog bite claims for 2012. A dog bite has a direct impact on the dog owners, dog and carrier; a secondary impact on the community, when that veteran carrier is unable to perform his or her duties while recovering.

The Springville Post Office is dedicated to providing customers excellent service. We take our responsibility very seriously. But, we also have a responsibility to our employees; to minimize risk, when possible, and keep them safe. With the ongoing concerns, we felt it was in the best interest of the carriers, the homeowners and frankly, the dog, that the mailboxes be moved to the front of the property.

Thank you for allowing me to explain.

Tonya Roberts
Springville Postmaster
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2013-11-12 | 13:24:47
Typical
This it the typical response that is given. There was no dog attack. There was no possibility of a dog attack. There was NO DOG OUTSIDE. So, while protection of the carrier is OBVIOUSLY needed... there is NO protection for the customer, if the carrier decides they want to lie, or force someone to move their mailbox.
2013-11-12 | 14:27:30
multiple?
Multiple Safety concerns? The so called encounters with the dog? What multiple concerns? You mean when you asked the customer to cut down their bushes so the carrier could feel more safe? (And they did.) Or when they removed a fence so the carrier could 'see' more? And they did? You mean when you asked if they could move the box to the side of the house? (and they did?) Or do you mean when you requested they shovel their driveway 5 minutes after it snowed out, when they weren't home or at work? (And they pay for plow service. This letter is a talking points response that pays no attention to the actual content of the situation. Thanks for showing your 'concern'.
2013-11-12 | 14:45:46
typical government bureaucracy
The entitled of a Fed. government employee