Dogs Vs. Mail Carriers: An Increasing Problem

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Steve Taylor has delivered mail in Parkersburg for 15 years. He has never been bit by a dog, but he has had some close calls. And while we were following him on his route, he was eyed by a few residents' dogs.

"Sometimes, that's when accidents happen, when they come to the door to get the mail, and a dog breaks through," he says. "And that's when the trouble starts. If they just leave the door closed, and let the mailman go to the next property, and then go get their mail, is the best solution. And keep (the dog) inside the house."

The Parkersburg postmaster says this is no small problem. Dogs in the past year have attacked several postal carriers and bit eight of them, the last two this month. He says residents might even consider training their domestic animals.

"The more you socialize your animal or dog, the better it is for you, and your letter carrier," says Postmaster Greg Church. "There is an organization here in town called the Parkersburg Obedience and Training Club, who do a great job with this. It's a great organization for you and your dog to belong to."

And while outside mailboxes are now the norm, some people still have theirs on their front porch.

"If he has to walk up the front porch, don't restrain the dog on the front porch," Church says. "It seems pretty simple, but some people don't realize that."

And Church says to keep front screen doors latched, so that dogs can't escape through them during mail deliveries.

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