June 14, 2020

5,803 USPS Letter Carrier Assaults by Dogs in 2019

June 14 — 20 is Dog Bite Awareness Week

The U.S. Postal Service continues to fulfill its mission to provide essential services that process and deliver information, communications, and goods vital to residents.  To ensure the safety of delivery personnel, the Postal Service is asking dog owners to keep their animals secured when deliveries are being made,

In 2019, 5,803 USPS Letter Carriers were assaulted by dogs throughout the nation – more than 200 fewer than in 2018.

“Our employees have been taking preventative measures against dog attacks, but they need help from our customers, too,” said USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo. “We are confident we can keep moving the trend downward and ramping up overall awareness for everyone is the best way to do that.”.

National Dog Bite Awareness Week runs June 14 through June 20.

Technology supports Letter Carrier safety in at least two ways. Mobile Delivery Devices, or scanners, used by carriers to confirm delivery, include a feature to indicate the presence of a dog at an individual address. And the Package Pickup application asks customers to indicate if dogs are at their address when they schedule pickups, which enables USPS to send alerts to those carriers.

The Postal Service offers the following safety tips to customers;

  • 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 letters 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 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 Post Office.

NOTE: Arrangements can be made to allow reporters to interview a local Letter Carrier about their experiences with menacing dogs. If you are interested please contact Ernie Swanson at ernst.a.swanson @usps.gov or by calling 253-214-1830.



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