In conjunction with health and animal organizations, the United States Postal Service is dedicating this week (May 15 to 21) to Dog Bite Prevention. 4.5 million people are attacked by dogs annually, with children, the elderly, and mail carriers being the groups most likely to be bitten, in that order.
Considering this, the Charleston dog bite attorneys want to share some the dog bite prevention tips the U.S. Postal Service has for those susceptible to dog bites and dog owners.
In 2010, more than 5,700 postal employees were attacked by dogs, with the most common scenario of dog bite happening when a customer opens their door to retrieve their mail directly from the carrier. To reduce the likelihood of such an incident, the Postal Service suggests securing pets in another room when retrieving your mail, or waiting until the carrier is off your property to collect your mail.
Also, if you are pet-sitting for a friend, neighbor, or family member, it is especially important to be vigilant in assuring the pet does not get loose and attack an unsuspecting victim. Because, as the experienced dog bite lawyers at Howell Law know, in South Carolina dog bite cases, any person who has the dog in his/her care or keeping at the time of the attack may be found liable for damages.
The Postal Service offers the following tips on how to avoid being bitten. Don’t run past a dog. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch prey. If a dog threatens you, don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight. Don’t approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined. While letter carriers are discouraged from petting animals, people who choose to pet dogs should always let a dog see and sniff them before petting the animal. If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.
The Postal Service also offers these tips on how to be a responsible dog owner, in an effort to prevent your pet from causing serious injuries to others and an on the job injuries to mail carriers. Obedience training can teach dogs’ proper behavior and help owners control their dogs. When a carrier comes to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door in another room. Don’t let your child take mail from the carrier in the presence of your dog, your dog’s instinct is to protect the family. Spay or neuter your dog, neutered dogs are less likely to bite. Dogs that receive little attention or handling, or are left tied up for long periods of time, frequently turn into biters.