WASILLA — A pit bull that got loose from its owner wound up sending a mailman to the hospital this past week.

“We got a call from Palmer police, not Wasilla, that the mail carrier had been bitten on the lip by the dog (and) that EMS was en route,” Carol Vardeman, head of Animal Care and Regulation for the Mat-Su Borough, said Friday of the Aug. 20 incident.

“He went to the door to deliver something, the person opened the door, the dog lunged out at him,” Vardeman said.

Her husband, Clint Vardeman, is deputy director of Emergency Services for the borough. He said the bite happened on Tambert Drive, a road that runs between Tait Drive and Terrell Drive in the neighborhoods between Bogard and Seldon roads.

Carol Vardeman said a borough animal control officer responded.

“(Officer) Darla (Erskine) just told me that (the dog) chased him out to his truck and then bit him on the lip,” she said in describing the attack. “It looks like he has maybe seven stitches.”

As is usually the case with dog bites, the borough took possession of the pit bull.

“The owners surrendered the dog for quarantine,” Carol Vardeman said.

The owners also agreed to have the animal put down, she said, which will happen eventually.

“He has to stay here for 10 days. That’s the state-required rabies wait,” she said.

Clint Vardeman said ambulances were summoned at 9:58 a.m. and were on scene by 10:09 a.m. By 10:23 a.m., they were on their way to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.

Though that’s speedy service, he said he couldn’t tell from the logs if there was any delay waiting for the dog to be corralled or restrained. In those situations, he said, it’s up to the medics to judge whether it’s safe to go in or not.

He said crews took the mailman to the hospital code yellow — meaning it wasn’t an emergency requiring lights and sirens.

Contact Andrew Wellner at 352-2270 or andrew.wellner@frontiersman.com.

(1) comment

Doglover in Knik
Doglover in Knik

I won't question whether this dog should be put down or not but it's interesting and predicted when a champion sled dog attacked a small child "if it was a pit bull there would be no question about euthanasia" . Here is the proof. It's time mushers even the big one's stop getting passes on adhering to borough code just like everyone else. The code is a good thing even if there could be more done to improve it and enforce it. Breed, ownership or accomplishments should not determine the disposition of a dog who attacks.

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