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Loose animals, staged dogfights forced suspension of mail delivery

May 23, 2007

BY BEN SCHMITT
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

Loose canines posed one problem but staged daytime dogfights also played a significant role in the decision to indefinitely suspend mail delivery in a northwest Detroit neighborhood, the postmaster said Wednesday.

"There was pit bull fighting two or three times a week," said Detroit Postmaster Lloyd Wesley Jr. "We're talking about the middle of the street in broad daylight."

Wesley said he's waiting for the city to unveil an anonymous tip hotline for callers to report loose dogs and dogfighting before he allows mail delivery to resume in an area near Eight Mile and Livernois. The U.S. Postal service halted mail in the neighborhood in mid-April.

But the problem isn't only a Detroit issue. This year, dogs have attacked 34 mail carriers in metro Detroit, including three incidents in Livonia and four in Westland.

As part of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, the postal service held an awareness press event at the College Park Post Office on Livernois in Detroit. Several letter carriers shared their horror stories about dog attacks.

Debra Jones, 49, recounted an attack by three dogs, Feb. 26 as she delivered in Detroit's east side. She had 200 stitches in her leg to close a deep wound.

"I'm afraid to go out there and do my job now," she said. "Sometimes I'm still afraid to be outside even if I know there aren't any dogs around."

Wesley said the Detroit Animal Control department has already promised to escort carriers when they resume delivery in the northwest neighborhood.

But no exact timetable has been set, he said.

"We heard about a loose pit bull and rottweiler in the area this week," he said. "It's a major problem."

Contact BEN SCHMITT at 313-223-4296 or [email protected] .com.

http://www.freep. com/apps/ pbcs.dll/ article?AID= /20070523/ NEWS01/70523050/ 0/NEWS05

Jodi Preis
Bless the Bullys - Defending Dog - Bull Breed Alliance of Tennessee

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