Wichita Neighborhood May Lose Mail Service Because Of Dog Bites

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Friday, February 8, 2013

A Wichita neighborhood is at risk of losing door-to-door mail delivery because of too many dog bites.

The area near 35 Street South and Seneca is where the problem is the worst.

The south Wichita neighborhood has had door-to-door mail delivery for decades, neighbors say. But the post office is telling them that's about to change for some of them."

Residents like Karen Heili are upset and feel they’re being targeted because of something of which they are not guilty.

"We received a letter in the mail saying there was a problem with a dog," she said.

And then their mail stopped this week, with folks having to pick it up at the Chisholm post office.

The latest dog bite was Monday. The post office says it’s the last straw.

"One of our carriers got attacked by the dog," says Chisholm Station Customer Service Manager Mark Kerschen. "Something we don't want to do, but we've got to insure the safety of our carriers."

He can’t say whose dog it was. Neighbors think they know, because a house with dogs two blocks away was forced to put up a curbside mailbox.

"Why are we being targeted?” Heili asked. “Why are these two streets being punished?"

The post office is giving residents two choices: either put up curbside mailboxes or allow a centralized mailbox to be put up on their street for all of them. What baffles folks is that their two blocks are having to do this, but streets to the west of the suspect dog aren’t.

The post office went on to say that all of Wichita stands out for dogs biting carriers.

"Wichita has the highest dog bites and attacks of the total area," Kerschen said.

That area covers Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. And it’s another reason they’re coming down hard here, even though these neighbors feel they’re paying for one dog owner who didn’t keep their dog or dogs under wraps.

It’s a costly inconvenience, neighbors say, because someone didn't keep their dogs in their yard.

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