Letter: Help keep dogs and letter carriers safe
To the editor,
There’s a myth we often hear at the postal service: “Don’t worry — my dog won’t bite.”
Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Any dog can bite, and all attacks are preventable through responsible pet ownership.
Nationwide, 5,581 postal employees were attacked last year. Yet of the 4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs annually, half are children according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The U.S. Postal Service and the medical community, veterinarians and the insurance industry are working together to educate the public that dog bites are avoidable by declaring May 18-24 National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog into a separate room and close the door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may see handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.
The postal service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the post office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the post office as well.
Please keep these tips in mind and help us reduce dog bite injuries for everyone.