After experiencing three fatal Pit Bull attacks and numerous serious injuries to residents by Pit Bull maulings in 2011, the Southern California coastal area of San Diego has experienced yet another tragedy.
A 59-year-old U.S. Postal Service letter carrier died from a stroke two days after being attacked by a Pit Bull while delivering mail. Diane Jansen had been working the same route for 5-1/2 years in Escondido, a suburb of San Diego, in the north County area, according to San Diego news reports.
The attack occurred at East Washington Avenue and Carlann Lane. KGTV San Diego stated that, according to Police Lieutenant Chris Wynn “The pit bull "just shot out of the partially closed garage door” at the residence of a family with several children and inflicted severe bites to both of Jansen’s legs. No adult was home at the time.
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Diane Jansen was immediately taken to Paloma Medical Center, where she was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage and developed slurred speech and became unresponsive while being examined by medical personnel, according to the Medical Examiner.
Hospital officials removed Jansen from life support Saturday and she died Sunday night, March 4, according to the report. The cause of death is listed as "a stroke due to hypertension and cardiovascular disease”. The dog bites are listed as a contributing condition.
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The identity of the dog’s owners was not disclosed because officers with the Escondido Police Department investigated the attack, in addition to the Escondido Humane Society, and neither found evidence that a crime had occurred, according to Police Lt. Chris Wynn. The animal was euthanized with the owners’ consent.
Another Escondido postal worker praised Jansen as "a devoted mail carrier and a happy person who did her job superbly." He stated that he has been bitten by dogs twice while delivering in North County and said the experience can be 'terrifying.' Your heart is in your throat when you get attacked by a dog one day, and the next day you have to go out there and deliver the letter that they are on warning," he told the North County Times.
The U.S. Postal Service reports that the San Diego area is now second in the nation with 45 instances of dogs biting letter carriers in 2010 and is tied with Columbus, Ohio. Houston, TX, leads with 62 and Los Angeles follows closely behind with 44 dog bites to Postal carriers during the same period, according to theLos Angeles Times.
The epidemic of dog attacks on Postal carriers is not limited to the United States. In a March 15 report by the Independent.com, British Royal Mail chairman Donald Brydon announced that more than 24,000 postmen and women have been attacked by dogs in the UK while delivering mail since 2006, with 400 carriers attacked in 2011.