USPS Dog Bite Awareness Week
Can you imagine a family member attacking a postman? Of course not, but it happened more than 5,800 times last year across the country.
When a dog attacks a mailman, the dog owner could be held responsible for all medical bills, reimbursement for lost work hours, uniform replacement, and other costs up to thousands of dollars. The Postal Service makes the safety of its employees a top priority and devotes one week each year to dog bite awareness.
Here are four simple tips for preventing dog bite injuries that should be applied year round:
Door delivery: 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 barge in through screen doors or windows to attack visitors. Dog owners should keep their pets safe. 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 consider the person delivering the mail to a family member. like a threatening gesture.
Electronic fence: Carriers may assume, when they do not see any physical fencing around a property, that the property is animal free. This can be a dangerous mistake. Postal agents ask you to keep your dog tethered or indoors when mail is delivered. While electronic fencing can keep your dog from wandering, it does not protect your mail carrier, who must enter your property to deliver the mail. Even homes with curbside mailboxes can have oversized packages or necessary signature items that require the carrier to approach a gate and cross the boundaries of the electronic fence. This poses a serious risk to the safety of carriers.
Dog in the yard: Make sure your dog is properly strapped on a leash away from where your postman delivers mail. Mail delivery service may be interrupted to an address or area that the carrier deems unsafe due to an unattached dog. When service is interrupted at an address or neighborhood, all parties involved will need to pick up the mail at their local post office. Service will be restored once assurance has been given that the animal will be confined during normal delivery hours.
Monitoring: Dog owners who have access to postal functions, such as Informed delivery notifications for letter post and package tracking, are urged to use this as a means of determining when the carrier is on the way and ensuring dogs are properly restrained. Are you expecting a Sunday parcel delivery? Postal officials are urging dog owners to restrain their pets also on Sundays, as more residences receive deliveries throughout the weekend.
DeSoto County News Service