Canada Post urges pet owners to keep animals secure following incident
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.