USPS ® Promotes National Dog Bite Prevention Week®
This week, April 9 through April 15, USPS® and its partners continue the tradition of bringing attention to a common issue that affects the nation’s letter carriers and impacts public health — dog attacks and bites.
From nips to actual assaults, USPS employees face a real danger while delivering the nation’s mail. Last year postal employees experienced 6,755 dog related attacks, an increase of 206 from 2015.
As part of an awareness campaign, USPS promotes National Dog Bite Prevention Week to publicize dog bite prevention tip s for keeping letter carriers, dogs and the public safe from incidents.
“My dog doesn’t bite”
Although most dog bites are reported to local authorities each year, countless more are not. Dog attacks attribute to five percent of hospital emergency room visits and are the most commonly reported injury to children.
A common misunderstanding letter carriers hear is, “My dog doesn’t bite.” But even good dogs have bad days, and certain circumstances may trigger a dog’s basic instincts.
Lack of socialization, improper training, excitement, unfamiliar surroundings and fear can often produce a scenario where a normally calm and friendly dog can respond with a nip, bite or attack.
Three suggestions for dog owners that will help lower this risk are: teach your dog appropriate behavior and commands, don’t allow a dog to roam freely, socialize and help your dog become accustomed to a variety of situations and people.
Dog Bite Prevention Tips
To ensure the safety of letter carrier and your dog, here are some helpful tips to prevent dog bites and attacks:
– If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
– Parents should remind children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet. The dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture and attack.
– When possible, restrain your dog with a leash to establish a safe and secure distance from the letter carrier. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at the Post Office.
Keeping our pets and community safe
Training, socializing and taking safety precautions with your dog can help ensure preventable dog bites and attacks do not occur. Letter carriers will feel safe and secure in their surroundings and provide a safe delivery to homes with dogs.