Nearly 5,800 postal employees were attacked by dogs last year, but that pales in comparison to the 4.5 million Americans attacked each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The majority of victims are small children, the elderly and Postal Service carriers, in that order.
The Postal Service continues its tradition of calling attention to this public health issue.
2020 National Dog Bite Awareness Week takes place June 14-20. Our campaign theme is “Be Alert: Prevent the BITE.”
During National Dog Bite Awareness Week, dog owners are provided tips for protecting mail carriers while making their rounds:
If 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. Some dogs burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to attack visitors. Dog owners should keep the family pet secured.
Parents should remind their children and other family members not to take mail directly from carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may view the person handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.
The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. 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 until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If a 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.