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Protective pets causing problems for Boise mail carriers

Posted at 5:17 PM, Jun 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-12 19:17:17-04

It turns out "man's best friend" isn't always "mail carrier's best friend".

According to Boise Postmaster Dan Corral, mail carriers in Boise alone have become victims of dog attacks along their daily delivery routes 30 times in the last two years.

"At least once a week I'm hearing of an instance where we have a threat from a dog," Corral said. "We've been seeing issues with dog bites, well, for my whole career which has been about 27 years."

The confrontation often comes as mail carriers approach the mailbox, in many instances by first entering a fenced-in front yard.

"A lot of the times we're getting  bites around the ankles and back of the legs, and those are just as serious as any other attack, and most of the time it's going to be a puncture wound," Corral said.

Ironically, it's smaller dogs that make up a bigger percentage of problems, but regardless of the threat size, aggressive animals can cause delays for deliveries.

"It might mean they might not get their mail that day," Corral said. "If the dog is out in the yard or the dog is loose, it may impede your delivery."

Corral says the postal service tries to keep delivery times consistent, so something for dog owners to keep in mind: keep a close eye on pets when you know mail is on the way.

"As the kids are home, everyone's out of school, that front door and that back door kind of become a revolving door and the kids come in and out," Corral explained, "and with that, the dogs are coming in and out as well, and so a lot of times we don't even know the dog's out."

And even if you're out front yourself, allow the mail carriers to drop things straight into the mailbox rather than a personal hand off. The dog can see the close interaction as a potential threat and show aggression.