Online shopping has become increasingly popular over the last few years and especially at this time of year. No matter what you need, you can have it delivered right to your doorstep thanks to online super-retailers like Amazon or Ebay. This has led to a significant increase in business for shipping companies, including the US Post Office, Federal Express, and UPS.
One unforeseen result of this newly popular method of shopping has been a rise in dog bite attacks against delivery workers. In 2015, reports of dog bites rose 14%.
Most postal workers are instructed to knock on the front door of a home to where they are delivering a package, which in some cases can mean entering a fenced-off yard or area on a property. Some owners allow their dogs to roam freely in these areas which could cause danger. Dogs can become instinctual, protective and territorial when their space is unexpectedly invaded.
Animal owners are required by law to control their pets and ensure safety of those who come on to their property, even if these visitors are not explicitly invited. In Pennsylvania, postal workers are considered “licensees,” or those who are not explicitly invited onto property but their presence is understood. Therefore, dogs, and other animals, are required to be confined so as to avoid any injury to those who come onto the property.
If you are expecting packages it is best to keep your dog under control and away from the areas where delivery workers will be.
The CDC recommends the following tips for individuals, and delivery workers, are approached by an unknown dog:
To help prevent bites or attacks, you should always be cautious around dogs, including new animals and those you are familiar with.
You should never:
- Pet a dog without permission from the owner
- Pet a dog without allowing it to sniff you or see you first
- Let children play with a dog without supervision
- Encourage a dog to play aggressively
- Disturb a sleeping or eating dog
- Run from a dog, as this may encourage it to chase you and attack
- Panic or make loud noises
- Disrupt a dog that is caring for puppies
If you encounter a dog that you do not want to interact with, you should:
- Stay motionless and calm
- Avoid making eye contact with the dog
- Try saying “no” or “go home” in a deep, firm voice
- Stand at an angle when facing the dog, as facing the dog directly can be a sign of aggression
- Wait for the dog to pass or slowly back away
If a dog attacks you, coil into a ball so that your hands protect your head, ears and neck.
Our Dog Bit Lawyers Help Victims of Dog or Animal Attacks
If you have been injured by a dog bite or other form of domesticated animal attack, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for injuries, pain and suffering and more. Call the Pisanchyn Law Firm’s dog bite attorneys at 1-800-444-5309 for your free consultation. We have offices in Pittsburgh, Scranton and Harrisburg and will travel to you.