A Lamont letter carrier was severely attacked by a dog on Feb. 9, the third attack in Lamont in the past nine months.

The letter carrier suffered severe bites to the fingers and wrists on both hands, bites to the chest and a five-inch gash in the forearm, according to a U.S. Postal Service news release. He was taken to a hospital for emergency treatment.

The urgent plea from the Lamont Post Office to pet owners is for their pets to be kept under control at all times.

"'Don't worry -- my dog won't bite' is often heard by our letter carriers before they're attacked," Postmaster Shari Coronado said in a postal news releasee. "The truth is, given the right circumstances, any dog can attack."

The Postal Service's top priority is the safety of its employees and if letter carriers fear for their safety due to loose or unrestrainted pets, they may stop delivery and ask homeowners to pick up thier mail at the Post Office, the news release said.

The Postal Service offers tips on how to be a responsible dog owner to avoid dog bites. Such tips include: when letter carriers and others who are not familiar with your dog come to your home, keep your dog inside, in another room away from the door; and dogs that receive little attention or handling, or are tied up for long periods of times, frequently turn into biters.

-- The Californian