Dogs vs. letter carriers: How the postal service protects itself from man's best friend

SAN DIEGO - Ruben Martinez has been a letter carrier for the U.S. postal service in San Diego for more than 15 years. And he said he's been attacked twice by a pit bull.

“I can’t explain why there is something about the uniform they want to attack," he said. "Dogs hate us."

His advice?

“Survive, do everything you can to protect yourself and stay standing so you will be able to fight back” he said.

Letter carrier Henry Ortiz had his third and most vicious attack by a dog on April Fools' Day last year. “I had eight stitches," he said. "It was about a half-inch gash. Right away I felt the bite on the back of my leg and I turned around and started yelling."

Ortiz was bleeding and the homeowner ran outside to help him.

“The first thing I asked was whether it had its vaccinations” Ortiz said.

Both men are OK because they used the techniques they learned during their yearly dog attack training.

“I always have my bag in front of me and my pepper spray nearby and I am always looking around and being alert of my surroundings” said Ortiz.

“All we want to do is deliver the mail, that’s it," Martinez said. "We don’t want to harm anyone. We just want to do our job."

We caught up with the two on Friday while they were taking part in dog safety training at the City Heights Post Office.

Letter carriers in San Diego have unfortunately seen an increase in dog attacks lately. According to the U.S. Postal Service there were 68 bites/attacks in 2011, 75 in 2012 and 101 in 2013.

But here's something that might surprise you - although letter carriers are the third most likely group to experience a dog bite, kids are actually the ones that are most at risk. They are 900 times more likely to get bitten by a dog than a letter carrier.

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