WASHINGTON, DC — The number of U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employees attacked by dogs nationwide fell to 5,803 in 2019 — more than 200 fewer than in 2018 and more than 400 fewer since 2017. Today, USPS highlights technology that helps reduce potential attacks, while releasing its annual list of cities with the most recorded dog attacks. The organization also highlights safety initiatives to help protect its employees and offers tips to pet owners as part of the Postal Service’s National Dog Bite Awareness Week, which runs Sunday, June 14, through Saturday, June 20.
“Even during these difficult times, it’s important for our customers to understand that letter carriers are still coming to homes daily and need to deliver mail safely,” said USPS Safety Awareness Program Manager Chris Johnson. “We are confident we can keep moving the trends of attacks downward, and ramping up overall awareness for everyone is the best way to do that.”
Tips and Technology
According to Johnson, technology supports carrier safety in two ways: Mobile Delivery Devices, handheld scanners used by carriers to confirm customer delivery, include a feature to indicate the presence of a dog at an individual address. And the Informed Delivery service alerts customers to mail and packages coming to their homes, allowing them to plan for the carrier’s arrival by securing dogs safely.
The Postal Service offers the following safety tips:
- When 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 attack visitors.
- Parents should remind children and other family members 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 family member as a threatening gesture.
- If a letter carrier feels threatened by a dog, or if a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a Post Office location or another facility until the letter carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the area’s Post Office location.
Top 10 Dog Bite States:
State 2019 2018 CA 777 794 TX 491 462 OH 378 304 IL 323 273 NY 320 339 MI 238 224 PA 237 252 FL 229 198 NJ 169 147 NC 162 169