New tool helping Colorado Springs postal workers avoid vicious dogs

New tool helping Colorado Springs postal workers avoid vicious dogs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Afraid of dogs? So are many U.S Postal Service workers -- more than 6,000 were bitten while on the job last year, but a new tool may help mail carriers in Colorado Springs.

Nearly every day, Lindsay Salazar walks the streets of a Southeast Colorado Springs neighborhood, though she walks five different routes.

Even in her short, five-year career as a postal worker, she's encountered dogs that bite.

"It all happened so fast," she said.

The last time, Salazar approached a home to drop off mail, and the next thing she knew, two dogs burst through an unlocked screen door.

"I wasn't able to protect myself so next best thing was to start yelling and make sure the dogs got off me," Salazar said. "Luckily, they didn't break the skin."

The Colorado U.S. Postal Service saw 132 attacks last year.

There were 14 bites in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

But overall, the number of attacks are down and the postal service is attributing that to this device. Employee delivery scanners display safety messages, including homes where dogs are present. This is especially helpful to carriers who are delivering in unfamiliar neighborhoods. 

"The scanner will go off an let you know if there's a potential dog," Salazar said.

Salazar says she uses it more than once a week because she never knows which dogs could be dangerous.

While some homeowners do post warning signs, this device can make a difference.

"I'd rather have it than not," Salazar said.

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