Ten postal employees were attacked by dogs in North Dakota last year. Two of those attacks took place in Williston.
“It is very serious because if I was to be attacked, that’s my job. If I’m hurt and I’m out of work because of a dog bite, maybe not even something I did myself to cause anything, that’s now taken me of out of work,” says Veronica Fullard, a city carrier.
And a loose dog is exactly what Fullard encountered in the front yard of one house along her regular morning route.
“He’s cute and I’m sure he’s friendly. But all dogs have teeth and if he feels offended or in danger that I’m in his yard, he may attack me or bite me. And I’d rather just prevent it and try again the next day rather than put myself at ris,” says Fullard.
And with the warmer weather, there has been an increase in the number of loose dogs in Williston. A threat not only to postal carriers, but to the general public and the animals themselves.
“It can open up a lot of possibilities. Dog bites are a big concern,” says Suan Moeller, animal control officer with the City of Williston.
Postal carriers are able to alert one another to a potential threat by using their scanners. Just as they scan in mail, the carriers are able to input information about possible dog threats along the route.
“Walking up to the house, it will alarm you. Maybe it will say aggressive dog or vicious dog. And you can program so if I’m gone and someone’s covering my route, it will pop up,” says Fullard.
But the postal service says the public can do their part as well-by keeping dogs inside or safely restrained when it’s time to deliver the mail.
The Postal Service also says that if a carrier delivers a package to your front door, you should make sure the dog is secured in a separate room before opening the door to accept the package.