As the weather becomes more conducive to outdoor play and work, incidents of dog attacks on postal carriers tend to increase. Children and adults tend to rush to the door when they see a mail carrier, and the household dog usually follows right behind, leaving the carrier vulnerable to a dog attack.
As the United States Postal Service continues to provide an essential service, it wants to make sure its carriers are safe and out of harm’s way while making their appointed rounds. Pet owners are asked to wait for their carrier to leave the area before opening the door to get their mail or package. Too many dogs have slipped between an owner’s legs while the door was open and have attacked the mail carrier. Dogs should be restrained and/or kept in another room as mail carriers make their deliveries.
The USPS can continue to move the number of dog attacks downward by increasing awareness to the communities it serves. It shared the following safety tips for dog owners to prevent dog bite injuries:
– Door delivery: If 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. Some dogs push through screen doors to attack visitors. Dog owners must keep the family pet secured. Never take mail directly from carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may see this as a threatening gesture.
– Electronic fencing: Carriers may assume, if they see no physical fence around a property, that the property is animal-free. This can be a dangerous mistake. Postal service officials request that you keep your dog restrained or inside when the mail is delivered. Although the electronic fence may keep your dog from wandering, it does not protect your carrier, who must enter your property to deliver the mail. Even homes with curbside mailboxes may have oversized packages or signature-needed items that require the carrier to approach a doorstep and cross the boundaries of the electronic fence.
– Dog in the yard: Make sure your dog is properly restrained on a leash and away from where your mail carrier delivers the mail. If the carrier deems a residence unsafe because of an unrestrained dog, mail delivery service can be interrupted. When service is interrupted at an address or in a neighborhood, all parties involved will have to pick up mail at their local post office. Service will be restored once assurance has been given that the animal will be confined during regular delivery hours.
– Tracking: Dog owners who have access to postal notification features, such as Informed Delivery for letter mail and package tracking, are urged to use these features to determine when the carrier is on their way and to ensure their dog has been properly restrained. Expecting a postal package delivery on Sunday? Postal officials urge dog owners to restrain their animals on Sundays as well, as more residents now receive deliveries throughout the weekend.