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USPS launches annual dog bite awareness campaign


Photo: BassittART/iStockphoto

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 (June 4-10).

“Even good dogs have bad days” is the theme for this year’s public service campaign, which notes that more than 5,300 USPS employees were attacked by dogs while delivering mail last year.

USPS provides the following tips for pet owners:

  • Keep your dog inside the house or behind a fence, on a leash, or away from the door in a different room.
  • Remind children not to take mail directly from a letter carrier, as the dog may view the carrier as a threat to the child.
  • Know when a mail carrier will arrive by using Informed Delivery, a service that allows customers to preview their mail delivery each day. 

Mail carriers are trained to stand their ground and protect their body when a dog attacks by placing something such as a mail satchel between them and the dog. A dog repellent can be used, if necessary. 

On their routes, carriers have a dog alert feature on their handheld scanners to remind them of a possible dog hazard, and dog warning cards can be used during mail sorting to alert carriers.

When a carrier feels unsafe, mail service to a certain address or neighborhood could be halted. If service is stopped, all mail must be picked up at the post office. Service won’t be restored until an aggressive dog is properly restrained.

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