MICHIGAN -- The cliché about the battle between dogs and postal workers became a frightening reality for a woman Friday who was hospitalized after an attack by two pit bulls. And as more people rely on online shopping delivered by parcel post, the frequency of attacks is on the rise.
Dog attacks on postal workers in the U.S. rose last year to 6,755, up 206 from the previous year and the highest in three decades, according to a report issued this month by the United States Postal Service.
In Michigan, there was a 12 percent increase in attacks on mail carriers, according to USPS statistics.
And Friday, a woman working for the Grand Rapids Post Office became a terrifying part of that story.
The attack came around 9:41 a.m. as the mail carrier made her rounds in the 200 block of Garfield Avenue SW, according to Grand Rapids police.
The two dogs escaped a fenced-in yard and mauled her before the owner secured the dogs, police say.
Blood could be seen on the side of a vehicle where she was attacked, according to a coworker who talked to 24 Hour news 8, but wanted to remain anonymous.
“I know her hand’s bitten up really bad, her arm’s bitten up pretty good, maybe her chin.”
The dogs were confiscated by Kent County Animal Control.
“They’ve been identified as American Staffordshire Pit Bull Terriers,” said Steve Kelso, spokesperson Kent County Health Department.
The woman was out of surgery Friday night with a broken arm, multiple stitches and may need surgery on her face, police said.
The dogs are in the custody of the county as they investigate. The owners are described as cooperative, but could face prosecution.
“Yes, there’s any variety of fines and fees and court time. It’s an actual criminal matter. Our animal control officers are law enforcement officials,” Kelso said.
It’s a problem that has postal carriers living in fear and USPS is working to address.
“We go up to those houses and I’m afraid my life is going to change sometimes,” said the postal worker. “It’s a pretty common thing, it happens quite a bit.”
He said the attacks are terrifying.
“I’m a big boy, I’m 6-foot-5, 245 pounds and I can’t defend myself, maybe against one, but if there’s two, it’s really scary,” he said. “I’ve been attacked at least seven, eight times.”
The post office has an app called Trip Hazards on handheld devices to help warn carriers of mean dogs.
In extreme cases, residents are told to pick up mail at a post office unless the dog is controlled.
The postal worker thinks there needs to be stiffer laws and registration for dogs used for protection.
“People’s lives change every day because of these mean dogs.”
(PostalNews.com - April 29, 2017)
New York: USPS again stops mail service due to pit bull attack
Pennsylvania: Post office suspends delivery to an entire street because the same pit bull keeps attacking a carrier
California: Mail carrier attacked by a pit bull "took a chunk out of my arm"
Wisconsin: Mail carrier, whose son is battling a rare disease, attacked by a pit bull
Kansas: Postal worker says Pit Bull attack was 'horrendous'
Aggressive pit bull taken from owner; Will not be returned this time
United Kingdom: Injured Dundee postman calls for dog attacks to stop
Ohio: Postal worker hospitalized after being attacked by pit bull mix
Colorado: Pit bull and Rottweiler bust through window screen and try to attack mail carrier
Kentucky: Mail carrier attacked by pit bull in Portland neighborhood
United Kingdom: American bulldog must be rehomed after attacking Blackburn postman
Michigan: Saginaw to issue first 'dangerous dog' fine after pit bull breaks loose from tether, chases postal worker
United Kingdom: Royal Mail suspends Christmas deliveries on street after dog attack leaves postie needing surgery
Arizona: Woman calls her dog's attack on mailman a "misfortunate accident"
Canada: Dog which attacked postal carrier will live (to attack again)
Canada: Owner pleads guilty in dangerous dog attack on mailman
New York: "I was blocking my face but (the dog) eventually latched onto my head and shook me back and forth until I lost consciousness"
Ohio: Mail carrier mauled by Pit Bull dog in Liberty Township
California: Woman says postal worker who pepper-sprayed dog was not in danger
Ohio: Dayton mail man mauled by pit bull is improving
California: Postal worker recounts details of pit bull attack
United Kingdom: Police seize dog involved in Meltham postman attack
Ohio: Mailman attacked by two dogs
Missouri: Dangerous Dog Declaration Upheld
United Kingdom: A dog that snapped a delivery man’s forearm in two in a savage attack in Bradford is still under investigation, police said today.
Missouri: Mail carrier recovering from dog attack in Florissant
South Africa: Mail carrier lucky to be alive after Boerboel attack
Florida: Two 'vicious' bulldogs maul Post Office worker who was left 'bleeding all over her face, arms and legs'
Canada: Letter carrier attacked by dog
Kentucky: Mailman lost skin on forearm, had several bites on wrist, leg
Michigan: Owner of pit bull that attacked Kalamazoo letter carrier pleads not guilty to dog attack charge
Kentucky: Police shoot and kill dog which attacked mail carrier