The battle between dogs and postal workers has dated back so far that it has become a cliché. But, in 2016, research from the U.S. Postal Service shows that the problem persists. even after years of consumer education. The USPS highlighted the problem by issuing a list of the 20 cities where postal workers are most likely to be attacked by dogs.
In 2016, the number reached 6,755, up by 200 from 2015. Among the reasons the USPS released the list is to promote consumer awareness and safety rules. USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo in Los Angeles, where postal employees suffered 80 attacks — more than any other city in 2016 — said:
Even good dogs have bad day. Dog bite prevention training and continuing education are important to keep pet owners, pets and those who visit homes — like letter carriers — happy and healthy.
After Los Angeles, the worst cities for postal worker dog bite in 2016 were Houston, Cleveland and San Diego.
The USPS has added prevention measures of its own to protect employees. Among them are tools that let carriers know which homes have dogs. The system can even tell a carrier when a dog has gotten loose, and, therefore, could pose a threat.
Among the measures the USPS suggests be taken:
- If a letter 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. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to attack visitors. Dog owners should keep the family pet secured.
- Parents should remind their children and other family members not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a family member 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 loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a Post Office until the letter carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the area’s Post Office.
The USPS’s 2016 Dog Attack Rankings by City: