Canine assaults on postal staff are a standard hazard. It occurs hundreds of occasions a yr

A 61-year-old postal provider died after being attacked by 5 canine in rural northern Florida over the weekend, sheriff’s officers mentioned. Final yr the state ranked among the many high 10 for such assaults, with greater than 5,400 postal staff throughout the US victimized in 2021 alone, in response to knowledge launched by the USPS in June.

The postal employee who was killed, Pamela Jane Rock of Melrose, was within the Interlachen Lakes Estates space on Sunday after her automobile broke down, in response to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Workplace.

The assault on Rock was particularly grotesque, with authorities not ruling out felony fees towards the proprietor of the canine.

There have been 201 canine assaults reported final yr in Florida, in response to USPS. California led the state rankings in canine assaults on postal staff with 656 assaults in 2021, adopted by Texas with 368 such incidents. Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan rounded out the highest 5 states for canine assaults. The complete rankings may be discovered right here on the US Postal Service’s web site.

Cleveland topped the record of cities with probably the most canine assaults on postal staff, with 58 assaults in 2021, USPS mentioned. Different cities cited by the postal service embrace Houston, Louisville and Los Angeles.

Residents within the rural Florida space the place the lethal assault occurred say they heard a girl scream for assist. Once they went exterior, they discovered Rock on the bottom with 5 canine attacking her, witnesses instructed the sheriff’s workplace.

Neighbors and the homeowners needed to bodily take away the canine from Rock, in response to Putnam County Sheriff Chief Deputy Colonel Joseph Wells. By the point deputies arrived, the postal provider was on the bottom, bleeding severely, the sheriff’s workplace mentioned.

Rock was taken to a close-by hospital after which flown to a trauma middle in Gainesville the place she died on Monday night, the sheriff’s workplace mentioned.

An preliminary investigation revealed the canine escaped from a fenced yard after they had been capable of transfer rocks lining the fence, in response to Wells.

“We’re in frequent communications with the state legal professional’s workplace as we discover choices so far as doable felony circumstances as this case continues,” he mentioned.

71-year-old man mauled to death by dogs; owner arrested, sheriff's office says

After the assault, animal management staff took custody of the canine that witnesses recognized as being concerned within the assault. The proprietor relinquished custody of the canine, and so they had been to be euthanized humanely, in response to the sheriff’s workplace.

Postal staff are educated to anticipate interactions with canine alongside their route, the USPS says. They’re taught to not startle a canine and their coaching has them holding their eyes on the canines whereas by no means feeding or petting them.

However there are steps canine homeowners can take to scale back the chance their canine will assault.

In a June information launch touting the postal service’s annual Nationwide Canine Chew Consciousness Week public service marketing campaign, USPS worker security and well being consciousness supervisor Leeann Theriault mentioned the accountability in the end lies with canine homeowners.

“Yearly, hundreds of postal workers are attacked by canine as they ship America’s mail,” Theriault mentioned. “And whereas it is a canine’s pure intuition to guard their household and residential, we ask all prospects to behave responsibly by taking security precautions with their canine whereas the mail is being delivered.”

The USPS recommends holding canine inside the home, behind a fence, away from the door or on a leash when postal staff drop off mail. The postal service additionally recommends that youngsters don’t take mail instantly from the postal provider as canine might view the provider as a menace.

As well as, the postal service says since many individuals know roughly when their mail is delivered, they will anticipate the arrival of a postal employee by securing canine beforehand.

CNN’s Amanda Watts and Amy Simonson contributed to this report.

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