Dogs attacking postal workers in Richmond area

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - In the past month, there have been several dog attacks against postal workers. In fact, in 2009 and 2010, there were more than 100 dog attacks in the Richmond postal area.

It's a normal Tuesday mail run for 10-year veteran mailman Keith Harris. "You just need to be aware," of dogs he says. Both in front of him and behind him. He was attacked twice, on the same route.

"You can't trust any dog," says Harris. "I even had someone send their dog to attack me. So, you just have to be careful out there."

Just a few weeks ago a pit bull, not on a leash, came up behind a mailman on the Southside near East 16th and Gordon Avenue.

It left that mailman with an injured leg. There's been at least one other attack in the Richmond area in the past month, as well.

"It's something about those blue uniforms that attracts dogs," says Andre Romero. Andre Romero lives near the most recent attack. He has three dogs of his own. But he makes sure none of them go on the offensive.

"Keep them in the house and I got a fenced in backyard. And, when I walk, I have them on a leash," says Andre.

"I have some customers that let their dogs run loose and I just let them know it's illegal to have their dogs run loose," says Harris.

In fact, if there is a loose dog in your neighborhood and no one knows who it belongs to, the postal service can stop delivery to the entire neighborhood.

"Keep your dog on a leash and under control and don't let them bite the mailman," adds Andre.

That's a message Keith hopes lands in a mailbox near you.

The most common attack is when a dog comes up behind a postal carrier. Also, postal carriers receive regular and refresher training on what to do when a dog attacks.

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