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Online Shopping Leads to Rise in Dog Attacks

Goldstein Heslop Steele Clapper Oswalt & Smith Dec. 12, 2021

Whether you need medications, groceries, a new car part, or anything else you can imagine, odds are 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. The rise has been dramatic; the Postal Service delivered 1.2 billion more packages in 2015 than they did just four years prior.

One unintended consequence of this sudden spike in mail deliveries has been a rise in dog bite attacks against delivery workers. And it’s not a small increase either. In 2015, reports of dog bites rose 14%, to a nationwide total of 6,549.

Postal worker Michael Micali said: “Dogs view mailmen as trespassers invading their space. Let’s face it: a dog doesn’t have much to do all day if the house is empty but to sleep and wait for the mailman who comes around the same time each day.”

Why the Rise?

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, and in some cases these dogs view the postal worker as a stranger entering their territory and they become instinctually angered.

Preventing Liability

Animal owners by law are required to control their pets and ensure safety of those who come on to their property, even if they 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 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, bereavement, and more. At Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt, and Smith, our team of attorneys work diligently to represent your best interests in court and fight to obtain the maximum possible compensation you deserve.

Trust your case to our award-winning attorneys today; contact Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt, and Smith and schedule an initial consultation!