Dog Bite Prevention Tips for Mail Carriers and Kids — How You Can Help Prevent Dog Bites

To help make your neighborhood safe for the letter car­rier, yourself, and other people just remember these simple rules:

1. Find out what time the letter carrier usually brings your mail.

2. When the letter carrier is due to visit your house, check to be sure your dog is inside. Keep the dog inside until the letter carrier is gone.

3. If someone needs to open the door to sign for a letter, first put the dog in another room and close the door.

4. If you have a mail slot, keep your dog away from the slot so the carrier’s fingers don’t get bitten.

5. If your mailbox is inside your fenced yard, and your dog is too, keep the dog on a leash away from the mailbox during the time your letter carrier delivers the mail.

6. When your dog is outside, never walk up to the letter carrier and accept your mail. Your dog may think you are being threatened.

7. If you see a dog running loose in your neighborhood, tell your parents.

8. Never, ever approach a strange dog. Remember, no owner, no petting. Only approach a dog that is on a leash with his owner, and follow the steps of WAIT, as described on the next page.

9. When a strange dog comes near you, be BORING! Stand like a tree, or if you are on the ground, curl up your legs, cup your hands over your ears, and lay still like a rock!

10. Don’t go near a dog that is in a car, behind a fence, or tied up — even if you know him.

A young 14-year-old girl from Palatine, Illinois, tells it better than anyone. Kelly Voigt was bitten by a neighbor­hood dog at the age of seven. The dog attack left Kelly Voigt with approximately 100 stitches in her face and a fear of being outdoors. This brutal attack caused so much pain and suffering that a few months later she was treated by a psychologist for post-traumatic stress syndrome and depression.

This young girl gained national attention after taking advice from her psychologist to use her experience to help others. Kelly started a nonprofit organization called Prevent the Bite, with her mother Kathy, and Nancy Skeffington — a school psychologist and animal-assisted therapist.

Kelly is using her experience to educate other children, and adults, on how to avoid such brutal attacks. Part of the Prevent the Bite program includes the acronym WAIT. The steps of WAIT are only to be used with a dog that is on a leash with his owner. Never approach a dog that is loose.

WAIT stands for:

Below are Kelly’s message and safety tips. For addi­tional information on Prevent the Bite and their efforts to help others, visit their Web site at:


WAIT Poster - Wait. Ask. Invite. Touch.