Community leaders take action as dog attacks on mail carriers rise

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email

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WICHITA, Kan. -- More and more neighborhoods in Wichita have received notices they'll lose door-to-door mail service because of vicious dogs on the loose, community leaders say.

In response, Wichita Independent Neighborhoods (WIN) will host a community meeting Monday, November 18th at 5:30 p.m. at the United Way of the Plains (245 N. Water Street). Scheduled to attend the meeting are representatives of the Wichita Police, Animal Control, and the U.S. Postal Service, WIN leaders said. The meeting is open to the public and community members are encouraged to attend.

"We want to get the issue out there, get some answers and move forward from there," WIN President James Roseboro said.

So far in 2013, there have been 27 dog attacks on mail carriers in Wichita, according to statistics given to WIN by the United States Postal Service.

"That's up double from what it was last year and the year before," Roseboro said. "It's all over the city of Wichita from what we are hearing and it's a lot larger (of a problem) than we thought."

Roseboro says the problem has made a resurgence since the organization first addressed it back in 2006. That year, it hosted a similar meeting which Roseboro says resulted in a beefed-up animal control department.

Earlier this year, the United States Postal Service ranked Wichita as the 14th worst city in the U.S. for dog attacks on mail carriers. Wichita had 20 attacks in fiscal year 2012. A number that is on par with much bigger cities such as Denver and Dallas.

Roseboro says as the numbers have increased, so have the notices to neighborhoods that door-to-door mail service will be cut off.

It happened to a neighborhood near 35th and Seneca back in February. The 200 block of Joann suffered a similar fate in March.

"There has to be other options out there than the Postal Service just cutting somebody's mail off and not delivering it," Roseboro said.

Right now, the only options for affected neighborhoods are to install curbside mailboxes, allow for a centralized neighborhood mailbox, or to pick up mail from the post office.

Once cut off, the postal service says it's unable to restore the door-to-door mail service as it was.

Roseboro says it's important the postal service, animal control, and the community come together to address the problem and find solutions.

"We want to know, 'What are the options?'" Roseboro said.

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