JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A simple package drop-off turned dangerous last week for U.S. Postal Service worker Linda Warren, who said she was attacked by a dog.
The day started off like any other. Warren had been to the home many times previously for deliveries.
“I was coming back to my truck and this dog came flying across the yard from the neighbor’s house, and he attacked me,” Warren said. “He didn’t just bite me. He attacked me.”
Warren said it happened in the Maxville area, off Pine Street, which is a rural neighborhood. She said the dog seemed to come out of nowhere.
“Every time he would go off, he would keep attacking me,” Linda Warren said. “I (feared) for my life.”
The dog’s owner wasn’t home at the time, so Warren said she did everything she could to get the animal off of her, but the damage was done. Now, she’s recovering from injuries to her stomach, knees and hands.
“This finger, he ripped,” Warren said. “If he would have got it one more time, he would have ripped my finger off. I’ve got stitches on the side, on this little finger and all the way around that finger.”
After the attack, Warren called police. Animal Control officials arrived the next day.
Warren said she hoped the dog would be removed from the home. But because the dog didn’t have a history of violence, it was not. The animal was ordered to stay inside the house for the next 10 days, and only permitted outside on a leash.
“They said the law states as long as they don’t have any other complaints against the dog, that they can't label it as a vicious dog,” Warren said.
In the meantime, Warren and her husband have hired attorney John Phillips, who said this sort of situation happens to mail carriers more often than we think -- and that the dog’s owner is responsible for any injuries.
“When you have a situation with a dog attack, the (law) really doesn’t do a whole lot until there is multiple attacks,” Phillips said. “Until that dog is labeled what’s called under the Florida law a ‘bad dog,’ they really don’t do anything.”
John Warren, Linda Warren’s husband, added that he's like to see the laws in Florida change.
"That (the law is) fixed to where they cannot do it twice. Once is enough," he said.
Linda Warren said what bothers her is that the neighbor she spoke with about the dog allowed the animal inside her home with two small children. Warren wants the dog to be taken away.
Phillips said he doesn’t think his client is to blame, especially because she delivers mail in the area nearly every day. Warren never threatened or enticed the dog, he added, so Warren should not be held liable, Phillips said.