Preventing Dog Bites to Meter Readers

I was not aware of the fact that meter readers (whom Boston has many of) are particularly susceptible to dog bites.  One employer in Texas is getting creative in order to stem the tide of dog bites to his employees.  Here is the article provided by CBS11tv.com, out of North Texas:

(CBS 11 News) NORTH TEXAS Nearly 2,000 animal bites are reported in the Dallas/Fort Worth area each year. That information is according to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

As part of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, one area company is unveiling a new device to protect employees against dog attacks.

Dogs are one of the dangers of the job for meter readers. Jason Cokendolpher has the scars to prove it.

“It was a black pit bull. He knocked me to the ground and I just threw my arm up and he got hold of my arm. I didn’t know what was gonna happen. I was scared, very scared.”

Ten Atmos Energy employees have suffered dog attacks so far this year. Now the company is making sure meter readers are armed with the, “Bite Terminator”.

The device has proven successful for Nina Martinez. The meter reader says she’s already used the device 11 times in less than three months.

“I just deployed it and they just kinda backed off and they left. Its working you know, it gets them away. It scares them.”

James Bias with the SPCA of Texas says, “It doesn’t harm the animal but that sudden impact of that umbrella going open can just…startle the dog, suddenly. They think there’s a very large creature coming towards them it’ll cause them to freeze and you can jump in your vehicle of get in your house.”

Although Jason is now armed with a bite terminator, he’s still a little uneasy. “Every time you hear a dog bark, you’re on your heels ready to jump,” he says.

Pet owners are encouraged to help take a bite out of the problem by keeping dogs off the streets and clear from meters, so workers can get their job done safely.

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