August 25. 2017 1:45PM

Gilmanton postal carrier airlifted after dog bursts through screen to attack

Union Leader Correspondent

United States Postal Service mail clerks sort packages at the Lincoln Park carriers annex in Chicago. The Postal Service believes a 2016 uptick in dog bites is attributable to the nation's increasing appetite for online shopping. That increases the number of packages the postal carriers deliver and so increases the likelihood of dog bites. (Reuters File Photo)

GILMANTON – A postal carrier attacked by a dog after delivering mail to a local was air-lifted to a hospital for treatment as a result of the severity of the injuries, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service confirmed.

Local police said the female victim remains hospitalized at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center where she was taken for treatment for severe bite injuries to her leg.

The postal worker was walking away from the residence when the dog burst through a screen door and charged up behind her, according to Steve Doherty, Northern New England spokesman for the USPS.

Police said the dog, which is listed as a black lab mix when it was registered with the town, was quarantined for 10 days and that a veterinarian reported it showed no evidence of having rabies.

The woman’s leg was so badly damaged that there were initial concerns that surgeons might have to remove it.

The animal control officer is continuing to investigate the Aug. 14 incident that occurred at a Middle Route home at 12:35 p.m.

The injured woman works out of the Belmont Post Office where the Gilmanton routes are dispatched from, Doherty said.

Heidi Duval, the town administrator, said she hasn’t received any formal report on the incident but had viewed Facebook postings.

“It’s very sad to hear. She is my mail carrier, too,” Duval said.

In the last fiscal year, (ending Sept. 30, 2016), 38 postal carriers in New Hampshire were bitten by dogs, according to the U.S. Postal Service. That compares with 32 in Maine and 16 in Vermont. Nationwide dog attacks on postal workers rose last year to 6,755, up 206 from the previous year and the highest in three decades, as a result of Internet shopping and consumers increasing the demand for seven-days-a-week package delivery. The city of Los Angeles logged the most dog bites to mail carriers: 80 in 2016.