SEATTLE — Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane rank in the top 30 cities nationwide for dog attacks on postal employees in 2014. Last year, across the U.S a total of 5,767 postal employees were attacked by dogs.
Seattle was tied for 13th with 28 dog attacks on postal employees in 2014. Tacoma was tied for 29th with 11 attacks and Spokane was tied for 30th with 10 attacks. Los Angeles led the country with 74 dog attacks on postal employees.
Of the 4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs annually, half of all victims are children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Postal Service, the medical community, veterinarians and the insurance industry are working together to educate the public that dog bites are avoidable by providing prevention tips during National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 16-22.
“There’s a myth we often hear at the Postal Service – ‘Don’t worry, my dog won’t bite,’” said Postal Service National Safety Manager Linda DeCarlo. “Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Any dog can bite and all attacks are preventable through responsible pet ownership.”
Local postal officials shared these tips:
- 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.
- Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.
- The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. 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 the mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well.
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