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Information About Dog Attacks
Information sponsored by DogBiteLawsuits.com

Bruce Thabit has represented more dog bite victims than any attorney in his 41 year legal career. He has been representing USPS letter carriers and dog bite victims since 1963. Thabit's law firm has a staff of lawyers who work exclusively in the dog bite field. They are experts in the field, and are knowledgeable about dog bite laws in all 50 states, plus Canada and Mexico. An interesting note -- they even have a "doggie crime lab" for DNA comparisons. They are networked nationwide with associated Trial Lawyers who are distinguished members of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Standard Dog Bite Law

Dog bite laws vary from state to state. Therefore, the location of the dog attack will determine your legal rights. In most instances, dog bite law follows a "strict liability" theory. Under these statutes, the dog owner is responsible for any damage caused by an attack from their dog.
The two key elements to prove in a strict liability dog bite claim are:

1. That the Defendant was the owner of the dog in question. 
2. That a bite occurred.

Dogs Most Likely to Bite

The Centers for Disease Control studies dog bite incidents, including the types of dogs most likely to bite. The breeds that the CDC considers highest risk include:
Pit Bulls
German Shepherds
Alaskan Malamutes
Doberman pinschers
Great Danes
Saint Bernards
What to do if bitten by a dog

Immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water.
Contact your physician for additional care and advice. If you are in immediate medical distress, call an ambulance or go to the emergency room immediately.
Report the bite to your local animal care and control agency. Tell the animal control official everything you know about the dog, including his owner's name and the address where he lives. If the dog is a stray, tell the animal control official what the dog looks like, where you saw him, whether you've seen him before, and in which direction he went after the incident.
I've been delivering mail for seven years and this weekend I was delivering to a residence that has a cat and two dogs. The cat was tied up and of course I wasn't concerned about it, after all it was a cat! When I turned to leave the box the cat crouched hissed and pounced on me. It bit me three times and left serious puncture wounds in my calf. There is a lot of pain there and some infection. We've always gotten talks about dogs and safety but where are the talks about vicious cats??? Wow.
- mm98
Not long ago, after thirty two years carrying mail, I was bitten for the first time. There was nothing remarkable about the incident, and though I told my supervisor about it, I didn't file an accident report. A week later the next door neighbor of the offending pooch informed me that the dog had died. I guess geezer carrier blood is fatal to dogs.
- B.V.
I have two stories:

One day while delivering mail a lady came out on the porch with her dog to get the mail from me. The dog started barking so I stopped in my tracks waiting for the lady to put the dog back in the house. She said to me "don't worry, my dog doesn't bite". About the time she finished saying this the dog turned and took a bite out of her leg. I had to hand the mail to her and walk away quickly before she saw me laughing.

Several years ago while delivering mail to a business on my route I had just placed the mail on the counter and was turning to leave the store when I saw a blur to the right. Just as I became aware of the blur I felt a pain and lo and behold a dog had sunk his teeth into my right Gluteus Maximus. My supervisor asked if I wanted him to come and see if I needed a doctor but I declined and finished my route.
- Carol Hackman Olathe, KS

Dear Sir: Several years ago a letter carrier in Chicago pulled a gun out of his bag and shot a dog dead while he was walking up to the house to deliver mail. Ironically, the dog's owners were coming out to give the carrier his Christmas present. The dog was just a small family dog from what I remember.
- Calvin
There was this dog on my route that would always bite the mail and bark wildly when I put the mail through the door slot. I was concerned that he might bite my fingers and also the dog barking made me mad as hell. So one day I squirted some pepper spray (breathe freshener) into his open mouth through the slot while he was barking. After that, he still barked, but he wouldn't come near that slot.
- Anonymous
I am a letter carrier in North Texas. I once had a supervisor - a Vietnam Veteran - who would shoot problem dogs in the middle of the night. All you had to do was tell him about a problem dog on your route and he would go out that night (or soon afterwards) and shoot the dog from a distance. I believe he was a scout/sniper in the USMC.
- Anonymous
I have been a letter carrier for thirteen years and can remember my first dog bite like it was yesterday.  The second day on the job in Brilliant, Ohio a 92 year old lady came out to greet me as the new carrier in town.  When she opened her door her cocker spaniel bolted out and bit me on the rear. She was really flustered got ahold of her dog the told me "honey don't worry he's bit lots of people".  Guess I wasn't so special after all.
- Sincerely, Richard Kurner
Hell no!
My husband was not attacked by a dog ... He was attacked by his supervisor... That's right folks... I guess he never went to the zero tolerance meeting.
- Anonymous
Several years ago while I was delivering mail I approached a residence that had a dog tied to the front porch with a fairly long cord. As soon as the dog spotted me he came charging at me. The dog pulled so hard that he broke the rope and I thought that I was had, but the rope, which was made of a stretchy material, snapped him on the back and he just slank off. He must have thought that someone had hit him with a whip.
- Robert Woodruff, Illinois
While delivering mail one day I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look and there was a black Pit Bull running parallel (low) to the ground to reduce his profile. He was in full attack mode and was swinging around to attack me from the rear. There was no time for dog spray, not that it would of helped, so I decided to kick the dog. (I have played Soccer all of my life and still have a pretty strong kick). I reared back and kicked the dog as hard as I could. I caught him right under the chin. The kick lifted him up and he flipped completely over and landed on his back.  There was another little mutt dog that was following the Pit Bull to get in on the action. When he saw his buddy flip over he practically skidded to a halt and got a puzzled look on his face. You could practically see the dog go "huhhhhh," like Scooby Doo. About two months later I heard another carrier talking about a black Pit Bull with a crooked jaw on the route.
- Tom
I worked as a carrier tech for 12 years after my 2 years as a sub. I covered 5 different routes each week. Of my six dog bites in those 10 years the most memorable, was of a miniature French poodle. One delivery was to a side door of one house across a driveway to the side door of the next house. I got halfway to the second house when the poodle ran from the back yard, bit my leg and ran back to the back yard. Not being  bitten bad I continued my rounds and kept the bite to myself. A few years later, I was again delivering that house. This time a young boy came to the door to get the mail. He opened the door and darned if the same dog didn't run out, bite my leg and run back inside. This time it drew blood. The grandmother who was watching the kids came to the door and asked "what happened"? I said "your dog bit me". When I returned to the office I informed management, they sent me to the hospital for shots. A few days later the Postmaster called me in to his office. He had gotten a nasty letter from the women that lived there. She said "if the mailman was bitten here before why didn't he report it". She also said "when my mother saw the bite it was black and blue and bleeding.  I think he was bitten somewhere else and blamed it on my dog". I guess she was afraid of a lawsuit, but in the 70s the USPS paid all costs of bites. I guess it was a case of dammed if I did and dammed if I didn't report the first bite. My next 16 years only involved many amusing human antics. Seems all the dogs on my route liked Herbie the mailman's dog biscuits.
- Herb
I was on a walking route that had scores of junkyard dogs.  But when I was walking across a yard out of the corner of my eye I saw this Doberman running towards me so in full speed I took off for my jeep and jumped on top.  When I turned around to see where it was I was completely embarrassed to see it was behind a cyclone fence.
- Anonymous
I am a carrier in Maryland. A customer has a yellow lab and it's the meanest, skinniest lab you've ever seen. It has an electronic collar on and every six months the batteries seem to die. The customer is usually notified that the batteries need to be replaced. I delivered a parcel on my first day on that route, not knowing the dog was on an electronic collar. I pulled into the driveway and before I knew it the dog jumped threw my car window and bit my arm. It was mostly slobber and no broken skin. I notified the customer by placing a note in her box. No reply and not even an apology about what happened. The dog's batteries were replaced and just a few weeks ago, they died. Well I told the PM and now the customer is not getting Mail Delivery at all. It just doesn't pay to be the nice guy - not worth getting injured, maybe for life.
- Elisabeth L.
All I was doing was delivering a single Express Mail piece in a residential neighborhood. I parked the jeep across the street, went up to the door with the article and 3849 and pen, that was it. The entrance was a sort of 4x4 covered opening and I rang the bell and heard a low dog bark. He sounded like he was inside, cool. No answer, then I rang it again and this time the bark was louder. Hmmm. No answer, so I started writing up the 3849 and was just about to leave the entranceway when there was the dog laying on the driveway. And he was big! What do I do now? So I stood there a few minutes pondering the situation. He wasn't facing me so maybe I could run for it but the jeep was far away. So for some reason, I rang the bell again and the dog got up and started walking towards the backyard. Well, seeing an opening, and afraid he would go back to the driveway, I took off for the jeep and he saw me. I thought I was in a movie or something, I was running like crazy. I had left the door open, seeing that there was no mail in the vehicle, just got around the back of the truck and slammed the door shut about 1 second before Fido arrived. Whew!!!  That was close. After that, the mace was my best friend wherever I went.
- Steve Griffin
While delivering to a bricked mailbox I noticed that there was a black widow spider that was living just under the front bottom of the box in a crack going in to the bricks.  I am not particularly fond of spiders and black widows least of all.  The next day the home owner was standing at his box waiting for his mail as I pulled up.  I noticed his dog was laying about 15 feet away on the grass beside the drive, but it wasn't barking or making any moves towards me so I didn't really think about him to much.  I told the homeowner about the spider and he leaned down to look where I told him it was but said that he didn't see anything.  I could see the legs of the spider just sticking out from the edge of the box so I put the LLV in park and shut it down and dismounted. The dog had sat up but was still just sitting there, no barking or anything else. As I leaned over and was talking to the man I was startled by a hard knock to my head and a lot of pain. I thought the guy had just punched me in the head! I looked up to see the dog loping away from us and I said "hey did your dog just bite me?"  He had a look of horror on his face and he said "yeah he did!" I reached up and felt blood on the top of my head - I shave my head so it was flowing freely.  He then said the classic dog owner saying "WOW HE'S NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE! I never would have believed he would harm a flea much less bite someone!"  The ensuing trip to the clinic and the impoundment of the dog was a drag for everyone.  He was up to date with the shots and all so I suffered no further problems from the bite.  But man did I catch hell from everyone back at the station!  They said the dog bit me because when I leaned over he saw his reflection on my shaved head and thought it was another dog!  No one had ever heard of anyone getting bit on the head before or since.  That was 3-4 years ago and people still kid me about it!  Moral of the story is never ever take your eyes off that mutt!  Oh and he sprayed the spider for me!
- Jack, Branch 462, Huntsville, AL
Years ago, when I was a new PTF, I never particularly cared to carry a satchel, so I carried my spray in my pants pocket.  On this particular day I was assigned a nice residential route with short park and loops.  I started down the street with flats on my arm and a bundle in my hand.  After a few houses I came up to this house with a Chow behind a 3 1/2 foot fence.  Never
thinking he could get over it, I started for the house.  In a flash he was over the fence and coming at me.  About 5' from me he fell over on his side and laid there.  I watched him for several seconds wondering what to do.  I was prepared to go up to the house and tell the occupant that their dog had a heart attack in the yard.  As I started to the steps, the dog got up, turned around and jumped back over the fence.  Always carried my satchel on that relay from then on but I never saw that dog again.
- DL
I was walking to the back of the truck to get some packages out for the loop when I saw this vicious dog out of the corner of my eye. All I could do was put my arm up to block my face.  The dog had my whole elbow in his mouth when he clamped his jaw down on it.  I had a long sleeve turtle neck on plus my postal windbreaker.  I don't think I have ever been that scared in my life. The thing that ticks me off the most is that I saw the dog and the owner before the incident and I saw the owner get the dog.  I waited to give the owner plenty of time to tie the dog up before I got out of the truck. I screamed for the owner and he came and got the dog before I was attacked again.  The owner told me the dog got away from him.  The owner also said the dog only has a problem with postal workers.  Yeah right! Anyway,  I had a big ugly bruise for about a month and a couple of little scars where the dog sunk a couple of teeth into my arm. I still to this day freak out when I hear a noise rattling like a chain or any kind of dog running loose. I really loved dogs before this happened, now I'm not so sure.
- V.C.
Several weeks ago, as I was nearing the end of my route one afternoon, I stopped at a customer's house with 2 parcels to deliver.   I went to the customer's door with the parcels/mail and my scanner.  I sat my items down at the door and proceeded to ring the doorbell. As I was waiting for the lady to come answer the door, her little terrier came up on the porch with me.  About that time, I looked around and he had hiked his leg and was PEEING on one of the parcels.   Well, as you might guess, I was none too happy with him, and neither was his owner. She grabbed him and rubbed his nose in it! Anyway, I have been a rural carrier for 15 years (12 as a sub/3 regular) and I have never experienced this before. Hope I don't have to anytime soon, either!
- Brad H.
When I was an RCA and drove a surplus jeep to deliver on the rural routes, I had many a dog that could hear me coming and were geared up for my arrival. Many people that had lost a dog in the past had taken to putting "invisible" fences in place to keep them from chasing vehicles as they drove past. But for some animals the sight of a mail jeep was too much temptation. that was the case with Bob, a young rottweiler accompanied by an older chihuahua. Bob would come right up to the fence line and run along the edge until the end of the yard and then he would stop, brace himself for the shock from his collar and tear on through with a yelp as he followed me down the road until he turned back for home. This was our usual routine and it continued that way for several months. Then one day everything changed. I don't know if it was the weather, the tone of my worn out muffler, or whether  he was just trying to impress his friend, but on this particular day, Bob decided to jump the fence and meet me head on before I ever got to his mailbox. It was quite a shock to see the dog at full gallop headed straight for the front of my jeep. I slammed on the brakes and came to a stop in a cloud of dust with a dog yelping and a hissing sound coming from the front of my vehicle. I felt sorry for the dog, but even sorrier for what I thought was my radiator. When I got out and the dust cleared I was shocked to see my right front wheel on the hindquarters of the dog and his teeth sunk into my tire from which air was rapidly escaping causing the hissing sound. The owner came running out. I pushed the jeep off the dog and he ran into the garage. We  checked out Bob and he seemed none the worse for wear except for an abrasion on his leg. My tire however was pancake flat. I had to borrow the owners floor jack to get it up off the ground to put the spare on. When I took it in to get it repaired they had to replace the tire because the punctures were in the sidewall and it could not be fixed. Well, needless to say Bob gave me a wide berth after that escapade, at least for a month. Some Dogs just never learn!!!!!
- RR3 67052

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