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Postal officials say dog bite can come from any dog

Throughout the country, many cities have moved to draft legislation that bans the ownership of certain breeds of dogs. The efforts stem from the theory that only specific breeds, or mixes thereof, afford the highest probability of generating a dog bite incident. However, according to statistics compiled by many jurisdictions, possibly even in Massachusetts, the truth is that any dog can bite.

The U.S. Postal Service is actually speaking out against any bans on particular breeds. The media frequently provides coverage whenever an attack is carried out on a person, particularly when the aggressor is of the vilified Pit bull type dog. In reality, letter carriers are bitten by all types of animals, regardless of breeding or aggressive reputation.

One carrier in Maryland suffered serious bite wounds from a poodle, which is not high on the list of potentially dangerous animals. An insurance company reported that one-third of the liability claims that it processes involve dog bite victims. The postal service would rather all pet owners take steps to protect others from being bitten, regardless of the breed of dog. In addition, it has requested that animals be secured whenever the mail is delivered and that children are discouraged from retrieving mail directly from the letter carrier on the possibility that a pet may perceive that the child may be in danger.

There are a dozen states that have taken measures to prevent their towns from instituting bans against certain breeds, one of which is Massachusetts. While the intentions behind these bans may be to reduce the chances of a dog bite occurring, the laws may instead provide a false sense of security and, in turn, end up creating a more dangerous situation for the general public. For victims who have suffered a bite, they are entitled to pursue a premises liability suit against any pet owner who may have been negligent in ensuring the safety of visitors to their property. A successful litigation may provide compensation for the medical expenses related to the injury and lost wages if the victim required time off work to recover. In addition, future attacks may be prevented, thereby protecting others from the pain and trauma that these incidences can cause.

Source: infozine.com, "Postal service sinks its teeth into dog-breed legislation", Madison Fantozzi, May 16, 2014

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