It is National Dog Bite Awareness Week, and USPS has added its voice to the mix. According to the Postal Service, USPS workers reported over 5,800 instances of dog attacks in 2020. Now, as part of a new campaign, USPS has released guidance for dog owners to help prevent these vicious attacks on letter carriers.
Dog Attacks on USPS Workers Poses a Serious Threat to Letter Carriers and the General Public
Most everyone is familiar with the old adage of how dogs hate the mailman, and bark whenever they’re around. However, while some may see this phenomenon as a joke, USPS feels otherwise. In fact, the Postal Service continuously categorizes dog attacks as a serious issue that threatens not only letter carriers, but also the general public.
USPS Acting Employee Safety and Health Awareness Manager Jamie Seavello weighed in on the importance of the issue.
“Raising awareness about dog bite prevention and how to protect our letter carriers as we deliver the mail is paramount,” she said. “Dogs are instinctive animals that may act to protect their turf. That’s why it’s important to inform the public about this campaign.”
Postal Service Releases Guidance on How to Prevent Dog Attacks on Letter Carriers
In a press release, USPS urges dog owners to be responsible for controlling their dogs. USPS maintains that the best way to keep everyone safe from dog bites is to promote responsible pet ownership. Proper preparation is the first step.
Most people know the general timeframe when their letter carrier delivers mail every day. As such, keeping their dog secured during this timeframe will minimize any interactions between letter carriers and dogs.
To help prevent attacks, dog owners should:
- Remind their children not to take mail directly from a letter carrier, since the dog may view the carrier as a threat
- When a letter carrier comes to the home, keep dogs either inside the house house, on a leash, behind a fence, away from the door, or in another room
Signing up for Informed Delivery May Help Prevent Dog Attacks
As an additional way to help prevent attacks, USPS suggests that customers sign up for Informed Delivery. Informed Delivery is a free service that gives customers a digital preview of all mail and packages coming their way. In addition, Informed Delivery provides context like when letter carriers are expected to carry out delivery on any given day. Armed with this knowledge, people can take precautions and secure their dog when their letter carrier brings mail and parcels to the door.
To learn more and see which cities ranked highest for the dog attacks in 2020, check out the press release on the USPS website.