Biting dogs are a danger all year long, but the danger is far more prevalent during warm weather — especially for letter carriers.
More doors are open — more pets are outside — conditions are just “right” for dogs to put in for the neighborhood menace award by ripping away at the nearest postal uniform…and the carrier who is wearing it.
“There’s a myth we often hear at the Postal Service: Don’t worry, my dog won’t bite,” said USPS regional spokesman David Van Allen. “Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Any dog can bite and all attacks are preventable through responsible pet ownership.”
The USPS offers this advice:
• 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 get at strangers.
• Dog owners should keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children 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 child 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 vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the post office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the post office as well.