S.C. Postal employees have been experiencing a high rate of dog bite incidents.
SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. -
Like it or not, man's best friend isn't so friendly all the time.
"Currently, we have worked 35 what we call 'bite cases,'" said Director Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement Jaime Nelson.
That's only in Spartanburg County, but throughout South Carolina, the numbers are quickly adding up.
The U.S. Postal Service reports that mail carries in the state have experienced 22 bite cases, which is more than half of the total number of incidents during 2012.
While Sue Conklin doesn't go door-to-door with letters in hand, she has felt what postal workers are reporting.
"I have been bitten a couple of times," said Conklin, dog trainer and owner of The Puppy Nanny in Simpsonville.
Conklin has made it her mission to help prevent dogs from nipping, biting and attacking people.
Officials say bite cases typically spike from April to October as more people spend more time outdoors.
"If you have a dog that is likely to be easily provoked then it is your responsibility to protect that dog from children or other people," Conklin said.
Uncontrolled dogs can result in a hefty fine from your city or county, and if the animal hurts a person because it wasn't restrained, you could be sued. The same goes if the dog attacks on your property.
To protect your finances should your dog ever bite someone, make sure your homeowner's insurance policy covers your pet. Every company is different in what breeds they will include.
If you're insurance company will not cover your animal or the rate is too high, try getting Fido certified through the AKC Canine Good Citizen program.
The program stresses responsible pet ownership and teaches basic training and good manners for dogs.
If your animal completes the program, your insurance company may decide to cover your pet.
Conklin also wants to remind all pet owners, dogs are unpredictable so never say Fido won't bite.
National Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 19-25. Officials say if a dog approaches you in an aggressive manner, don't run.
Try to stand still and keep your hands close to your body.
If you run, scream, or put your hands up in the air, it could scare the dog, and cause it to jump up at you.