USPS to dog owners: Help protect letter carriers from bites

Washington – The U.S. Postal Service is offering pet owners tips on how to prevent dog attacks against letter carriers, as part of National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 17-23).

Dogs attacked 5,767 postal workers in 2014, up from 5,581 the previous year, according to USPS. Los Angeles (74), Houston (62) and San Diego (47) had the most dog attacks among 80 cities.

USPS provides the following guidance for pet owners to help prevent dog attacks against postal workers:

  • Keep your dog in a room behind a closed door before opening the front door for a postal worker.
  • Teach children not to take mail directly from postal workers near the family dog – the dog may perceive the letter carrier as a threat to the child.
  • If a postal worker feels unsafe around a dog or if the dog is loose, the owner may be asked to collect his or her mail at the post office.

Each year, 4.5 million Americans suffer a dog bite, USPS states. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the victims most often are small children, seniors and letter carriers.