ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Ameren Illinois is asking its customers for help in providing a safer environment for both pets and utility employees.
They say a recent rash of dog bites is prompting the request and that even the friendliest of dogs can bite when scared, startled or protecting its territory.
Pets on the loose or leashed can be hazardous for Ameren Illinois employees who must enter customers' yards to work on natural gas or electric service equipment. In the last five years, more than 40 Ameren Illinois field workers have been attacked and bitten by a dog requiring medical attention.
Customers are encouraged to safely secure their dogs when a utility worker is scheduled to visit a home or business.
Here are some safety recommendations:
- Never leash a pet to any utility equipment - meter, pole guy wire
- It a utility worker is outside the home or business, securely confine the dog inside. If the co-worker needs to enter the home, keep that pet securely confined.
- An electric fence will not always keep a determined dog from breaking through the invisible fence
- Post a Beware of Dogs signs on your fence or house to avoid any surprises for the utility worker
- Vaccinations and inoculations for rabies and parasites should always be up to date.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States each year.