Dog owners who allow their pets to roam free when the weather is warm have caused major problems for some mail carriers.
In Northern Virginia, three postal workers were injured by dog bites in the last two weeks, said Patrick Murphy, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.
In the past year, there have been seven dog-mail carrier incidents in areas with "Alexandria, Va." mailing addresses. Two postal workers are employed at the Trade Center location on South Pickett Street in West Alexandria, two are at the Community location on Richmond Highway near Hybla Valley, one works at the Memorial location in Old Town, one works at Engleside in Mount Vernon and one works in Franconia.
Two dogs at a home in the Alexandria area bit one postal worker 11 times, according to Murphy, after they charged through an open gate and attacked.
In another Alexandria area incident, a dog lunged through a screen door and bit a carrier, Murphy said.
In the Dale City-Woodbridge area, a dog jumped a fence and attacked a postal worker; that person remains out of work after undergoing two surgeries related to the attack, Murphy said.
Across Northern Virginia, forty-nine cases were reported since March 2011, according to the U.S. Postal Service.
Arlington has the most reported incidents of dogs attacking mail carriers. There were eight attacks in that area in the last 12 months, seven in Alexandria, and two or more attacks in the following areas:
- 6 Falls Church
- 5 Woodbridge
- 3 Winchester
- 3 Vienna
- 3 Fairfax
- 2 Herndon
- 2 Manassas
“We need help from our customers to keep our carriers safe,” U.S. Postal Service District Manager Michael Furey said. “We work hard to make the work place safe for employees. When our carriers are on the street, their work place is the homes and businesses of the customers we serve."