Petaluma Great Dane to be killed after postal worker attack

A Petaluma Great Dane will be killed after it bit a mail carrier Feb. 4, Petaluma Animal Services announced Tuesday.

Postal worker Winnie He was delivering mail at a Sierra Drive home about 4 p.m. when the large black-and-white dog started growling at her through a screen door. As He - who is 4 feet, 8 inches tall - was walking away from the home, she was overtaken by the dog, an adult male named Merlin. Once on the ground, the dog bit her face and forehead before being pulled off by the owner, according to the case report from Petaluma Animal Services.

The report did not state the dog's height or weight.

He, who has worked for the post office in Petaluma for four years, also was bitten about two years ago.

This time, however, her injuries required 17 stitches above an eyebrow and 22 stitches under her chin, according to a coworker.

She is recovering at home in San Francisco, and not sure when she'll return to work.

The dog was placed on a 10-day bite home quarantine, at the end of which the owner notified animal services the dog would be killed.

In 2016, Petaluma Animal Services recorded 56 dog bite incidents. The department does not track how many of those dogs are killed.

“Fortunately this doesn't happen that often here,” said Postmaster Balraj Ghoman, who called employees together after the bite incident to explain what happened and remind them to be aware while out delivering mail.

“Anytime we have a serious injury we, of course, get our people together. ... just reminders of how to protect yourself. Obviously the job holds that hazard of animals.”

You can reach Staff Writer Christi Warren at 707-521-5205 or On Twitter @SeaWarren.

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette