California Dog Bite Capital For Mail Carriers

Many letter carriers attacked by dogs last year were victimized by pets which broke loose of their owners grip to jump through screen or glass doors. The USPS asks customers to place dogs in a separate room before accepting mail at their front door.

May 21st to 27th is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, and the USPS is using the event to highlight the problem of mail carriers being victimized by dogs. Houston postal employees suffered the most dog bites last year with 108 followed by Santa Ana, CA with 94; Indianapolis metro area, 83; Bay Valley, CA and the Cincinnati metro area with 82 bites. Last year, 3,249 letter carriers were bitten by dogs across the United States, which is 71 fewer than the year before.

"Dogs are protective in nature and may perceive a letter carrier handing mail to its owner as a threat," explained USPS Vice President and Consumer Advocate Delores Killette. "For the same reason, we also ask parents to instruct their children to refrain from collecting mail from our carriers in the presence of their pet."

"Safety always comes first," Killette continued. "If a letter carrier perceives an unrestrained pet as a threat, we may curtail delivery and ask the customer to pick up their mail at the Post Office. If a pet roams a wide area, this may also result in the neighbors’ mail being curtailed. In these cases, we won’t resume delivery until the situation is safe."

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