Letter carriers occasionally have to deal with angry dogs or maybe even a spider's nest in a mailbox, but a mean squirrel?

Barb Dougherty, a 30-year Postal Service employee, said she was attacked and bitten Monday by a squirrel while delivering mail on Allegheny Avenue in Oil City.

Dougherty saw the squirrel on the porch when she put mail in the box, but when she turned to walk away, the squirrel attacked her, she said.

"It was a freak thing. It was traumatic," she told The Derrick and News-Herald. "I saw it there on the porch, put the mail in the box and turned to walk away and it jumped on me."

Dougherty was able to grab the squirrel by the tail and pull it off.

She was taken by ambulance to the hospital where she was treated for cuts and scratches and given the first series of rabies shots as a precaution. The squirrel was killed by a BB gun and is being tested for rabies.

Postal officials said the attack was extraordinary.

"We've had bugs and spiders, but this is the first time I've ever heard of anything like this," said Steve Jolley, customer service manager for the Postal Service's Oil City branch.