June 11, 2020
National Dog Bite Awareness Week Starts June 14
CLEVELAND, OH — 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 Northern Ohio, 217 carriers were attacked in 2019.
Here are where the 217 dog attacks to local postal employees occurred:
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 Postal Service Safety Awareness Program Manager Chris Johnson. “We can continue to move the number of dog attacks downward by increasing awareness.”
According to Johnson, technology supports carrier safety in two ways: Mobile Delivery Devices, handheld scanners used by carriers to confirm customer delivery, now include a feature to indicate the presence of a dog at an individual address; and Informed Delivery, which alerts customers to mail and packages coming to their homes, allows customers to plan for the carrier’s arrival by securing dogs safely.
Letter carriers often have stories of bites, attacks and near misses to share such as the following instances from carriers around the nation:
Regina was delivering to a residence where she never had a problem with a dog until this one day. The house had a mail slot at the front door. As she was bending down to put mail through, she noticed the door was ajar a tiny crack and that’s when a pit bull came charging at her. With a quick response, she was able to pull the door shut and keep it closed. There was glass near the door and the dog charged the glass and broke it with its head. Luckily, the homeowner rushed to see what was going on. Regina immediately notified her supervisor and explained the situation. Within days, the homeowner put a mailbox in the front of the house.
On Angela’s route, a large dog was off leash and charged at her. She did not deliver to that home and alerted her supervisor. In another incident, she walked toward a house with a German shepherd sitting on the front porch. A leash prevented the dog from attacking. Again, Angela did not deliver to that house and alerted her supervisor.
Michael was in the back of his truck sorting mail when a dog got loose from its owner, jumped into the truck and bit him on the wrist. The dog was on a leash being held by its owner. The owner was texting on his phone when the dog got away from him and bit Michael. He went to a hospital and got 10 stitches after this attack.
The Postal Service offers the following safety tips for dog owners:
A total of 5,803 USPS employees were attacked by dogs in 2019. The top 20 rankings comprise 31 cities, as some cities reported the same number of attacks:
Top 10 Dog Bite States:
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.