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Tag: post office

Houston is first in postal carrier dog bites

More postal carriers are bitten by dogs in Houston than any other American city — or at least that was the case last year.

According to statistics released yesterday by the Postal Service, 62 Houston letter carriers were “attacked” by dogs in 2010 — almost 20 more than the second place cities (a tie between San Diego and Columbus, Ohio).

Nationwide last year, 5,669 postal employees were bitten in more than 1,400 cities, leading to medical expenses of $1.2 million, the Postal Service said in a press release issued in connection with National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 15-21).

Among the entire population, about 4.7 million Americans are bitten annually — and dog attacks accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners’ insurance liability claims paid out in 2010, costing nearly $413 million, the press release added.

“Given the right circumstances, any dog can bite. Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem,” said Matthew Lopez, Houston’s postmaster.

Rounding out the top 10 cities for dog bites among postal carriers were Los Angeles (44), Louisville (40), San Antonio and St.  Louis (tied with 39 each), Cleveland and Phoenix (tied with 38 each), Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon (tied with 35 each), Denver and Philadelphia (tied with 31 each), Sacramento (30) and Seattle (28).

(Photo: Ace greets my postal carrier almost everyday, and likes to follow him, even though he doesn’t carry treats and has never given him one.)

Almost-mailed puppy up for adoption

So many people have expressed interest in adopting “Guess,” the 5-month-old poodle-schnauzer mix who was almost air-mailed, that the city of Minneapolis plans to hold a drawing to help determine where he will call home.

The drawing will be held around 2 p.m. Friday at the Minneapolis Animal Care and Control shelter, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Ten names will be initially drawn, and assigned a number. Those people will then fill out an application. After screening, the dog will be awarded to the first eligible  person whose name was drawn.

The new owner will be required pay the standard adoption fee, and for a pet license, and sign an agreement to have Guess neutered on “Spay Day” (Feb. 22) before taking him home.

On Jan. 25, Stacey Champion put Guess in a box sealed with packing tape and dropped the package off at a post office near her home, telling postal officials it contained a toy robot. The box was addressed to her 11-year-old son in Georgia, for whom Guess was intended as a birthday gift.

Postal workers opened the box after noticing it was moving and hearing the dog panting.

Champion, 39, has been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. She attended an administrative hearing in hopes of getting the dog back but was turned down. On Monday, when she failed to post a bond to pay for Guess’ shelter expenses, she lost any future chance to get the dog back, which would have been a possibility had she been found innocent.

That cleared the way for Guess to be officially put up for adoption.

“We’ve gotten calls from all over the globe,” Jeanette Wiedmeier of Minneapolis Animal Care and Control told Fox News. “311 has taken calls from Europe. They’ve taken emails from people who are outraged and excited about this story, and they want only the best for this dog. We’ve just been overwhelmed with the amount of attention this little six-pound guy has gotten so far.” 

(Photo by Elizabeth Flores / Star-Tribune)

Woman tries to mail puppy to her son

Time to reopen the annals of stupid human behavior and make room for Stacey Champion — a Minneapolis woman who attempted to air-mail a puppy to her 11-year-old son in Atlanta.

Champion, 39, was charged with animal cruelty after postal workers discovered the 4-month-old puppy inside a sealed package she had dropped off, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Champion told a postal clerk the box contained a toy robot. A Minneapolis police spokesman said the puppy would not have survived the trip.

The Star Tribune says that, while the package was still in the post office, it moved by itself and fell to the floor, surprising postal workers. Within minutes, postal employees unwrapped the tightly sealed box and pulled out the panting puppy.

The dog, described as a poodle-Schnauzer mix, named Guess, was placed in a shelter, costing Champion $250 in fees. Today, Champion tried to convince an administrative hearing officer to return Guess to her custody. (See the hearing in its entirety in the video  above.)

Champion said in the hearing that she didn’t know dogs couldn’t be mailed. “They say they deliver,” she noted. She further explained to the judge, “If there weren’t no mistakes in life, society wouldn’t be what it is now.”

We can’t argue with that one.

Champion also went back to the post office and demanded she be refunded the $22 priority mail fee, according to the Star Tribune. That request was denied.

The judge called her actions disgraceful and declined to return the dog to her.

Postal service wants to stamp out dog bites

Happy National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

Once again, the U.S. Postal Service — 2,863 of whose letter carriers were bitten last year — is launching its annual dog bite prevention campaign.

And that’s just part of a larger effort aimed at reducing the 4.7 million dog bites that occur each year,  mostly with youngsters as the victims.

Half of all U.S. children will be bitten by a dog by the time they’re high school seniors, says pediatrician Alison Tothy, chairwoman of the committee on injury and poison prevention of the American Academy of Pediatrics Illinois chapter.

The academy, postal service, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and several other groups have joined in the National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 16 – 22) campaign, according to UPI.

Here are the tips the Postal Service provides on avoiding dog bites.

– Don’t run past a dog. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch prey.

– If a dog threatens you, don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.

– Don’t approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined.

– If you believe a dog is about to attack, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.

Dog owners, meanwhile, are encouraged to keep dogs inside and away from the door when the postal carrier comes, and to not let children take mail from the carrier in the presence of a dog.

(Photo: Minnesota Historical Society)

Rescue dog and cat stamps have arrived

stamps

The new U.S Postal Service stamps we told you about back in March — featuring rescued dogs and cats — are now available in finer post offices everywhere.

The stamps feature five cats and five dogs, and the photos were taken by Sally Andersen-Bruce. All of the  animals were adopted from a shelter in New Milford, Conn.

For the stories behind each of the pets that appear on the stamps, go here.

The Postal Service’s campaign, called Stamps to the Rescue, is being supported by Ellen DeGeneres and Halo, her dog food company.

New stamps will feature once homeless pets

stampsOn April 30, the Postal Service will issue a 44–cent, Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamp series.

With the 10 stamp designs — five cats and five dogs — the U.S. Postal Service hopes to raise awareness of the need to adopt shelter pets.

The pets depicted on the stamps were photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce near her home in New Milford, Connecticut. All had been homeless at one time; all but one had been adopted when they were photographed.

The stamps were designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC.

In celebration of the new Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamps, the Postal Service, together with Ellen DeGeneres and her dog food company, Halo: Purely for Pets, will be donating a million meals to animal shelters around the country.

To pre-order the stamps, go here.

Here’s a closer look at the dogs chosen for the stamps:teddy

Teddy, a wired-haired Jack Russell terrier: The owners of Teddy’s mother were surprised when she gave birth to another litter. They couldn’t afford to raise more puppies, so they gave Teddy and his siblings to a shelter.

Today, Teddy lives with a loving family, their other Jack Russell, and a cat. 

trevorTrevor, a yellow Lab: Trevor and his litter mates were found abandoned at 8-10 weeks of age at a new home construction site.

They were rescued by Labrador Retriever Rescue of CT, Inc. Trevor was adopted by a couple who are a perfect match for his outgoing personality.

 

buddy

Buddy, a golden retriever: Buddy is a pure-bred golden who was purchased from a pet store. At only eight months old, he had such bad hips that his family gave him to a shelter.

Now, Buddy is flourishing with his family who have improved his health through regular exercise and a good diet. 

bindi suBindu Su, an Australian shepherd: Bindi Su’s mother was handed over to a rescue group when her owners found out she was expecting.

Bindu Su was adopted at eight weeks old.

Now she competes in agility events and visits a local nursing home weekly. 

jakeJake, a Boston Terrier: Purchased at a pet shop on Thanksgiving when he was eight weeks old, Jake’s original family quickly realized that they couldn’t take care of him.

The pet shop had a no-return policy, so Jake was turned over to a shelter.