Postal service urges dog owners to help protect carriers

The large dog attacked so quickly, ripping and biting at Ross Bridges' satchel, that there was little time for the mail carrier to react.

Bridges was chatting with a man whose mail he had just delivered on Stetson Lane in Lexington in December when the man's German shepherd-chow mix jumped a back-yard fence and ran to the front of the home.

The dog bit Bridges on his left calf just before the owner, yelling the entire time, was able to control the animal.

It did break the skin, but not much," Bridges said. "It hurt for a couple of days."

The U.S. Postal Service says cases like these are common. More than 3,000 city and rural letter carriers were bitten by dogs in 2008; there were eight cases in Lexington and at least 40 in Kentucky.

Each year, the postal service takes a week to remind people to teach their dogs appropriate behavior and keep them away from letter carriers, said Susan Wright, a postal service customer relations coordinator in Lexington.

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