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Mail carrier is recovering from dog attack in Florissant

Mail carrier is recovering from dog attack in Florissant


FLORISSANT • The mother of a rookie mail carrier attacked by a boxer mix Saturday while on her route in Florissant says she thinks the dog should be euthanized before it bites someone else.

Aeriel Dixon, 21, of Ferguson, started her job as a U.S. Postal Service carrier a couple of weeks ago, according to her mother, Angelia Spencer. Dixon was on her route about 1 p.m. Saturday in the 1600 block of Fernbrook Lane when a male boxer mix charged from a house and bit her, authorities say. Spencer said the dog bit a chunk from her daughter’s left calf.

“She was screaming for her life,” Spencer said. “I don’t think there should be a chance for this dog to hurt someone else’s child.”

But Florissant officials plan to release the dog to its owner after a 10-day quarantine because the dog has no documented history of aggression.

The dog apparently pushed open the front door of a home as Dixon walked up to deliver mail on Saturday afternoon, said Robert Morris, a supervisor in Florissant’s health department.

Spencer said her daughter kicked the dog and screamed until the man who had been dog-sitting the animal pulled the boxer mix off her. Spencer said her daughter also suffered bites to her hands. Police, paramedics and Florissant’s animal control officers arrived, and Dixon was taken to DePaul Health Center for treatment.

Joe Thompson, 28, had been watching the dog, named Chevy, at his home while the dog’s owner, Jeff Ellis, 40, was out of town for work, Morris said. The city has no history of problems with Chevy or other reports of vicious animals at the home on Fernbrook Drive, Morris said.

Chevy is being quarantined at Florissant’s animal shelter. Animal control staff are working with Ellis, who lives in Ferguson, to have Chevy stay elsewhere after the dog is released. Morris said animal control will continue to monitor Chevy’s whereabouts after the dog’s release.

Thompson was issued a summons for failing to control the dog, Morris said. Ellis was cited for failing to keep Chevy’s rabies shots up to date. Neither Thompson nor Ellis could be reached for comment Tuesday.

Spencer said her daughter is now on heavy painkillers and having kidney problems and elevated blood pressure. She said doctors haven’t said when Dixon can leave the hospital.

“She is going to have to have surgery, and we don’t know how long,” she said. “We don’t know what they have to do.”

A U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman said there have been 31 dog attacks on mail carriers in the St. Louis area in the past year.

Valerie Schremp Hahn of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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