Louisville USPS discusses prevention of dog attacks on carriers
In 2016, a dog attacked Sandra Brice while she was on her postal route. She was not only barricaded physically, but also mentally.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Letter carriers work in the rain, snow and heat to get people’s mail. But they won’t deliver the mail if there is an aggressive dog that puts their safety at risk.
On the last day of Dog Bite Awareness Week, the Pleasure Ridge Park Post Office hosted an event to remind workers of the importance of dog bite prevention.
There were over 5,800 dog incidents last year across the country. Letter Carriers in Louisville suffered 34 dog attacks in 2020. There have been 216 dog bites in the past 5 years, or one dog bite every 9.57 days.
In 2016, letter carrier Sandra Brice went to her client to deliver the mail. When she turned to leave, she heard the door open and a dog growl.
“It just happened, it seemed in seconds,” Brice said. “I didn’t even have time to really react, so the dog attacked me.”
The owner removed Brice’s dog, but not before he bit his leg, leaving not only physical damage, but psychological damage as well.
“The mental part is the worst of all because it’s the hardest part to overcome,” said Brice.
Brice still works for USPS, but not as a letter carrier. Her worst fears came true that day in 2016, and now she says she can’t even return to the field.
Dogs can see someone mailing their owner as a threat, so even if you have a small dog, be careful.
“All dogs bite. If they have teeth, they bite, ”said acting Louisville postmaster Chris Carroll. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a small dog or a big dog. Dogs are territorial and they want to protect their property and their owners.
If you have a dog, there are some great ways to prevent dog bites from your mail carrier.
If a carrier delivers to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening your front door. To clarify what time to detain your dog, USPS allows people to track mail.
Even if you have an electric fence, keep your dog indoors or tied up when the mail arrives. The transporter often has to enter your property and an untethered dog poses a threat to the safety of the transporter.
Carroll advised his letter carriers to suspend delivery on three conditions if they have a dog situation: call animal control or 911 depending on the severity, call the local carrier manager, and perform scans for all packages so that USPS may notify customers why they have not received a delivery.