Postal Worker Hospitalized After Dog Attack

August 6th, 2009 by


MIAMI (CBS4)
― A brown and white pit bull named “Blue” mauled a mail carrier in Miami Wednesday, leaving her hospitalized with serious bite wounds.

Fifty-three-year-old Georgina Pacheco was making deliveries in the Shenendoah area of Miami when she was attacked by the dog in front of a house at 3675 Southwest 24th Terrace. The sidewalk in front of the home was spattered with the victim’s blood.

Miami Fire Rescue Lieutenant Ignatius Carroll said the dog leaped at the postal worker, apparently going for her face or throat. “She was able to push the dog away from her face, and it lunged at her and bit her in the chest area and also bit her on the hand. She got some significant bites,” Carroll said.

Pacheco was rushed to the emergency room at nearby Coral Gables hospital and was still being treated for her wounds Wednesday night.

A Miami-Dade animal control investigator on the scene said one of the woman’s fingers may have been severed or partially severed in the attack.

Miami police officer Jeffrey Giordano said the dog was a Staffordshire terrier, one of the largest varieties of pit bulls. Animal control officers took the dog away Wednesday evening.

Blue was to be quarantined for 10 days before officials would determine if it would be destroyed on grounds that it was a “dangerous animal.” However, by Wednesday night, the CBS4 Newsroom received reports that the dog had already been euthanized.

Had the dog escaped death, the owner would have been ordered to remove it from the county. Pit Bulls are illegal in Miami-Dade. The owner, Omar Fernandez, denies the dog is a pit bull, and says he is sweet and mild. He was furious Wednesday night, when he learned Miami-Dade Animal Services put his dog to sleep.

“That’s my family to me, he’s a family member, he’s a pet, he’s my family,” he said.

Earlier in the day he had declined to discuss details of the attack, but said, “It was an accident. The dog got out and the mail lady reacted the way she did, and it was an accident.”

He did not elaborate on how the mail carrier may have “reacted” or contributed to the attack. A woman at the home, who did not give her name, said, “Accidents happen every day.”

Fernandez says Miami-Dade Animal Services strong-armed him into surrendering Blue, threatening to come back to the home with a search warrant. He also says Animal Services investigators promised to test Blue to see if he was adoptable.
“Within an hour of me not even getting (to Animal Services)..they took my dog they put down my dog, even a murderer has his day in court.”

Fernandez has hired an attorney, and plans to fight to get back Blue’s remains.

A postal service spokesperson said Pacheco has been a mail carrier “for many years.” The agency released a statement saying that more than 3,000 mail carriers a year are attacked by dogs, and urged pet owners to maintain their animals responsibly.

The agency said mail carriers are trained to repel dog attacks using their mail bags and pepper spray. Pacheco was unable to defend herself, the spokesperson said, because the attack came without warning.

A spokeswoman for the United States Postal Service released this statement following the attack:

“The safety of all of our employees is of the utmost importance. All of our carriers receive dog bite prevention training which includes protecting yourself with your mail satchel, and using a pepper spray as the circumstance warrants. Unfortunately, these preventative measures are not always enough to fend off dog attacks.”

Debra Fetterly
USPS Spokesperson


3 Responses

  1. Got Dog Kennels

    It’s so sad when things like this happen. It’s sad on all for the person attacked as well as for the dog and his owner. If people realized this on both sides, then better precautionary measures can be taken. I hope that people learn from this situation.

  2. georgina sanz

    I dont think they have the right to put the dog down they should have and inverstigation to see if the dog was a pibull and if the dog does not havae rabia the dog should be giving back to his owner and he has to take him out of miami or have and insurance but not to be kill ther are 10 days for investigation he should sue the county.

  3. Fight 4 Blue

    I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY KILLED BLUE LIKE THAT. IT IS NOT MY DOG BUT I HAVEN’T BEING ABLE TO SLEEP THINKING ABOUT HIM AND HIS OWNER. BLUE FELT THREATENED BY THE MAIL CARRIER AND DID WHAT ANY DOG OR PERSON WILL DO… DEFEND HIMSELF. IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!!!!! YES, I THINK THE OWNER SHOULD SUE THE COUNTY. THEY DIDN’T EVEN GIVE THE OWNER TIME TO FIGHT FOR THE LIVE OF THIS DOG.

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