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USPS says nearly 6,000 letter carriers attacked by dogs in 2020

As a part of its annual National Dog Bite Awareness Week public service campaign, USPS provided the public with information on what pet owners should and shouldn’t do to protect letter carriers.
Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 1:51 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The United States Postal Service announced more than 5,800 employees were attacked by dogs in 2020.

As a part of its annual National Dog Bite Awareness Week public service campaign, USPS provided the public with information on what pet owners should and shouldn’t do to protect letter carriers.

“From nips and bites to vicious attacks, aggressive dog behavior poses a serious threat to postal employees and the general public,” USPS said.

USPS officials said most people can approximate the time their letter carrier arrives each day and should have their dog secured during that time to minimize interactions between the worker and the animal. They also advised pet owners not to have their children take mail directly from a mail person, as the dog could view the carries as a threat.

According to USPS, letter carriers are trained to observe an area where dogs are known to be present.

USPS letter carriers are taught the following:

→ Don’t startle a dog.

→ Keep your eyes on the dog.

→ Never assume a dog won’t bite.

If entering a yard, make some noise or rattle a fence to alert the dog.

Never attempt to pet or feed a dog

Place your foot against an outward swinging door

If a mail person is attacked, USPS said they are trained to stand their ground and protect their body by placing something between them and the dog.

Memphis was ranked among the top 25 cities in the U.S. for dog attacks. USPS said 16 mail carriers were attacked by dogs in 2020 in Memphis.

Houston, Texas, was ranked the worst city for dog attacks with 73 and California was ranked the worst state with a total of 782 attacks in 2020.

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