As the weather improves and more people enjoy time outside, Canada Post is asking people to remain conscientious of their dogs to improve safety for letter carriers.
Canada Post says that approximately 41 per cent of households on their routes have dogs.
“Generally if people keep pets they’re a positive part of the family,” said Kevin Pearson, manager of operations in Greater Victoria. “A lot of the times, dogs are doing their jobs and guarding their property… We’re just asking owners to take a couple of extra seconds to make sure their dog is secure.”
|Canada Post is asking residents to be aware of their dogs to avoid any bites to letter carriers (File contributed/ Canada Post)|
Pearson said every year, dozens of letter carriers in Greater Victoria and hundreds across Canada get bitten by dogs.
“It’s almost daily that there’s interactions with dogs; they don’t always end up with injuries or a bite but it’s ongoing,” Pearson said. “One of the most dramatic bites I’ve seen happened in the last year, and the letter carrier needed more than three dozen stitches.”
Pearson added that the physical injuries heal, but that fear and trauma can stay a lot longer.
“We’re not trying to offend anyone with pets,” he said. “Many of us have dogs ourselves… but it’s an issue.”
If letter carriers feel threatened, they are not obligated to deliver the mail.
“Our motto is ‘if in doubt, get out’ but we want to do the best we can for our customers,” Pearson said.
There are over 300 letter carriers in Victoria, and to improve their safety pet owners can ensure that fences are closed, that screen doors are locked, and that the dogs are secured before answering their door.
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