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Dealing With Vicious Dogs On A Daily Basis

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After another pit bull attack in Oklahoma City, vicious dog legislation is back on people's minds including those who deal with vicious dogs on a daily basis.

In Tulsa, PSO workers say vicious dogs are a terrible burden on them, but as News on 6 reporter Jennifer Loren explains, they're using technology to deal with the on-going problem.

Vicious dogs are an every-day part of the job for meter-readers. Gary Devore works for PSO. "I'm not afraid to go in most yards. But you can pretty much tell when a dog will or will not let you in."

His job is to go into PSO customer's backyards to see how much electricity they've used. But sometimes, because of their dogs, he can't. "When their hair bristles up and they show their teeth that pretty much means don't go in there." In that case, he'll try to read their meter with binoculars. If that doesn't work, they'll have to estimate that home's usage. "If we can't read it over the fence their bill is estimated. Which estimating a bill is never a good thing because it could be high, it could be low."

Of all the homes on one Tulsa street, there were two where they couldn't read the meters. The people who live there will not only have their bills estimated, but also could face $55 fines. When people receive those fines, he says they usually find another place to put their dogs.

But PSO meter-readers do have some tools at their disposal like an umbrella called the bite terminator. They also have a computer, which warns them when there is a dog in the yard.

It even tells them when its known to be a vicious dog. "It'll also warn us of a pit bull and in that case we don't go in the yard with a pit bull at all." It’s all in an effort to keep dog bites from being an every-day part of the job too.

Gary Devore says there are many more nice dogs on his route than vicious ones. In fact, he says one of the sweetest dogs is a pit bull. That just illustrates people's arguments against dangerous dog legislation.
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