June 17, 2020

Letter Carriers Need Your Help to Prevent the Bite (Grand Rapids MI)

National Dog Bite Awareness Week June 14 – June 20

Letter Carrier encountering a dog

Grand Rapids MI — The number of U.S. Postal Service 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. For Postal Service officials and mail carriers, one bite is one too many. The Postal Service has new technology tools to help reduce dog attacks.   

In the Greater Michigan District (zip code 3 digit areas 486-491 and 493-499) for FY2019 81 carriers were attacked.  So far for Fiscal Year 2020 28 carriers have been attacked by dogs.  

The theme for the 2020 U.S. Postal Service National Dog Bite Awareness Week, June 14-20, is “Be Alert: Prevent the Bite.” The campaign addresses aggressive dog behaviors that pose serious threats to the more than 80,000 Postal Service employees delivering mail and how communities they serve can play an integral part in their safety.

“During this difficult time, our letter carriers are delivering mail and they need to do it safely,” said Greater Michigan District Manager, Krista Finazzo. “We can continue to move the number of dog attacks downward by increasing awareness.”

The U.S. Postal Service has a video promoting Dog Bite Awareness, go to dog bite video.

The Postal Service offers the following safety tips for dog owners:

  • When a 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 carriers in the presence of the family pet. The dog may view the carrier handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.
  • If a 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 other facility until the 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.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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