July 13, 2007 13:24 ET

Dog Bites Continue to Be a Problem

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - July 13, 2007) - Dog bites continue to be a major hazard for Saskatchewan letter carriers, despite a flurry of media attention following an incident in Moose Jaw in late April. Saskatchewan experienced nine more dog bite incidents in May alone. .

"As the weather gets warmer, our customers are more and more likely to have their dogs out in the yard," according to Kerry Cooper, Canada Post Health and Safety Officer in Regina. "Even the friendliest dog can become aggressive when an unknown person enters its territory. This can pose a danger, not only to letter carriers, but to passers by - including young children."

Letter carriers are provided with training to deal with potentially dangerous animals. However, a full mailbag can make it very difficult for a letter carrier to prevent an attack. The Moose Jaw letter carrier involved in the serious dog bite incident in April is still unable to deliver mail.

Pet owners can improve safety with the following precautions:

- Secure your dog inside

- If the dog is kept outside, place it in a dog run or secure it with a strong leash and collar

- Ensure the dog cannot reach any part of the letter carrier's line of travel

- Ensure your property is fenced

Dog bites can result in lost working time and delayed mail delivery to other households. A dog owner may be liable for damages such as lost wages or medical expenses. Mail delivery may be suspended if a homeowner refuses to take appropriate measures to ensure letter carrier safety.

In addition, Canada Post reports incidents to local animal control authorities. The result of their investigation could include issuing a ticket or, in extreme cases, seizing and euthanizing the animal.

"Working together can improve safety for everybody," said John Hood, Canada Post Health and Safety Officer in Saskatoon. "We can improve safety for your letter carrier, for your neighbours and for your pet."

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