A Victoria-based Canada Post worker is pleading with the public to keep dogs contained.
Leslie Black has been a delivery agent for Canada Post for 24 years, starting her Victoria career in 2009.
She tells Black Press Media that although she loves her job – being outside, meeting people, even experiencing the elements – a recent experience with a homeowner’s dog left her fearful – and motivated.
|Leslie Black has been delivering for Canada Post for 24 years, but a recent incident has motivated her to ask dog owners to keep their dogs away from delivery agents. (Photo Courtesy of Leslie Black)|
“Be mindful that your dog might be friendly but they’re going to be protective and they are unpredictable,” Black says. “Many dog owners are in denial or naive about that. It’s just awareness and education. I want it to be automatic that when someone rings the bell you secure the dog before you answer the door.”
Black won’t share details, but says the recent attack had her off work for four months.
“Myself and my family are still suffering the repercussions of that incident,” she says. “It is life-altering when we get attacked. I am a different person now because of this incident.”
According to Canada Post, one in three homes served by the national postal service have dogs.
“We are asking all dog owners to help us deliver your letters and parcels safely by keeping their dogs secure and at a safe distance,” says a statement from Nicole Lecompte, media relations for Canada Post. “Many of our delivery agents are dog lovers, and dog owners, but they can still experience dog-related injuries.”
Black loves dogs and has one herself, but says the public needs to know the risks. Now that Canada Post delivery agents – formally known as letter carriers – are delivering more packages, there are more person-to-person interactions, meaning more opportunities for dog encounters.
“There is not one single Canada Post delivery agent that has not a bad encounter with a dog,” she says, adding that she was fearful to return to her job, but is working again. “My threshold as to what I fear is safe or OK has been lowered. Even if we say we love dogs and are OK with dogs, it’s just not necessary and that risk is not worth it.”
While delivery agents can refuse delivery to a home where they feel unsafe, many dogs can’t be seen until it’s too late. Black says she is advocating for “zero tolerance.”
“Let’s not have any interactions – whether it’s a friendly dog or not – because they’re just too unpredictable,” she says. “I’m trying to educate people to remember that it’s best for everybody if…the dog has no chance to get to the door.”
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