CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The United States Postal Service says dog attacks in Cedar Rapids are on the rise. Staff with the USPS says Cedar Rapids has already surpassed the number of attacks all of last year.
So far this year, the USPS in Cedar Rapids says they have already dealt with 10 dog attacks. Last year, the USPS says there were 10 instances of dog attacks.
"We've had 10 dog bites this year so far, year to date," said Phil Cherion, the station manager for the USPS at their location on the southwest side of Cedar Rapids. "Which equals our number from last fiscal year."
Of all the routes they cover out of that specific post office, many of them have had issues with dogs, especially recently. One mail carrier was bit by a dog June 20th, only four days ago.
"We service 38,000 different delivery points on a daily basis, just out of this unit," Cherion said. "And with that many deliveries we're making, the potential is there."
Michaela Wanek, a city carrier for USPS in Cedar Rapids, has been delivering mail for the last seven years. She says when walking the neighborhood, sometimes dogs are not secure. But she says she loves dogs, and the dogs themselves are not the issue.
"It's not about the dogs," Wanek said. "Their instinct is to protect their humans and their house."
She said there is often a need to react quickly and plan ahead in the case that a dog escapes, or is not on a leash.
"One second, you have to decide and determine what you think that dog is going to do," Wanek said.
Staff at the USPS says they have no quarrel against dogs, saying many of them are dog owners, too. But they want to make sure those dogs stay under control.
"I just want to be safe," Wanek said. "And it comes on my responsibility and the customer's responsibility as well."
The USPS says to make sure dogs are away from windows and windows are closed and secure. They said to make sure if your dog is outside, that it is safely away from the mailbox. If a carrier feels threatened by a dog, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at the post office.