(WHBC) – The U.S. Postal Service says, while the number of its employees attacked by dogs nationwide fell to 5,714 in 2018, one bite is one too many and new tools continue to be unleashed to help reduce dog attacks.
“Our employees have been great at taking preventative measures against dog attacks, but they need help from our customers, too,” said USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo.
“We are confident we can keep moving the trends of attacks downward, and ramping up overall awareness for everyone is the best way to do that.”
She says technology supports carrier safety in several ways. Mobile Delivery Devices, hand-held scanners used by carriers to confirm customer delivery, now include a feature to indicate the presence of a dog at an individual address.
The Package Pickup application at usps.com asks customers to indicate if dogs are at their address when they schedule package pickups, which allows USPS to send alerts to those scanners.
50 mail carriers were attacked by dogs in Cleveland last year, while there were 13 attacks in Akron and nine in Canton.
Only three cities had more dog attacks on postal workers than Cleveland, with Houston leading the way.
In March a postal service worker was one of several people attacked by a group of loose dogs in Akron.
The Postal Service offers the following safety tips for dog owners:
When 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. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate glass windows to attack visitors.
Parents should remind children and other family members not to take mail directly from carriers in the presence of the family pet. The dog may view the carrier handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.
If a 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 or other facility until the 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.