Canada Post urges pet own­ers to keep an­i­mals se­cure fol­low­ing in­ci­dent

Cape Breton Post - - PROVINCE -

It took a closer in­spec­tion be­fore some­one re­al­ized there was a dog’s tooth stuck in a Canada Post car­rier’s arm.

It be­came lodged in the car­rier’s tri­cep af­ter a black lab broke from its chain Thurs­day morn­ing and lunged at the car­rier.

“It was be­fore 9 (Thurs­day) morn­ing on Guest Drive, my guy was de­liv­er­ing the mail and as he was turn­ing to leave, the dog broke through its chain and went af­ter him,” said Sean Hoover, de­pot su­per­vi­sor with Canada Post in Truro.

“Our car­ri­ers are told that if there is a dog, even if it’s chained, and they aren’t com­fort­able go­ing to that home, they don’t go. Be­cause we’re be­ing cau­tious, some­times we just skip de­liv­ery at that lo­ca­tion un­til it is safe to do so.”

The car­rier was a re­lief car­rier on that par­tic­u­lar route for the past three weeks. All the car­ri­ers, in­clud­ing re­lief car­ri­ers, are made aware of res­i­dences with dogs.

There are dog icons at the sort­ing sta­tions for their re­spec­tive civic ad­dresses, and there are also bright pink warn­ing la­bels in the mail sort­ing slots.

“We even have flags on the cases to show there is a po­ten­tial is­sue,” said Hoover. “We knew of this par­tic­u­lar dog, but it was al­ways a ques­tion of ‘what if.’ Now we know.”

In the four years he’s worked at the lo­cal de­pot, Hoover hasn’t seen any clashes with dogs that were as se­ri­ous as this one.

“We have had peo­ple that have been nipped be­fore,” he said, adding the car­rier re­turned to the de­pot to see how se­ri­ous it was.

“He didn’t know the tooth was there. Any­time an in­ci­dent hap­pens, we al­ways record what hap­pens, and it wasn’t un­til I was doc­u­ment­ing it that we re­al­ized there was a tooth stick­ing out.”

Hoover said he spoke with a rep­re­sen­ta­tive with Emer­gency Health Ser­vices who ad­vised Hoover to send his car­rier to the hos­pi­tal.

In a sit­u­a­tion such as this, Hoover said Canada Post’s di­rec­tive is to in­volve lo­cal an­i­mal con­trol of­fi­cials, as well as the po­lice. He said both had been no­ti­fied, and he would be fol­low­ing up with the dog owner, along with a sec­ond per­son from the de­pot’s health and safety com­mit­tee, in the com­ing days.

“We know dogs will do what dogs do. We know they can be very ter­ri­to­rial. We keep our car­ri­ers as aware as pos­si­ble and try to be safe,” he said.

Car­ri­ers do have ac­cess to a dog spray, or mace, how­ever Hoover said there was no time for it Thurs­day.

“An­i­mal own­ers need to know that we’re com­ing on their prop­erty. Yes, we un­der­stand dogs are ter­ri­to­rial, but a lot also go visit other homes with dogs and there have been no prob­lems. If you’re a home­owner with a dog, make sure we are safe enough,” he said.

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