According to the United States Postal Service, dog bites remain a pressing concern for postal workers nationwide. In 2022, dogs attacked more than 5,300 postal carriers. These incidents not only disrupt mail delivery but can also cause severe injury. To combat this, the USPS commemorates National Dog Bite Awareness Week annually to highlight the importance of preventing dog bites.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, ranked number 14 in the top 20 cities for dog bites, with 22 mail carriers beings attacked by dogs. Protecting Milwaukee mail carriers from possible dog bites requires a conscientious effort from dog owners. By knowing what steps to take, owners can contribute significantly to decreasing the number of incidents reported yearly. Here is what you, as a dog owner, can do to ensure the safety of mail carriers.
1. Implement secure enclosures
Consider providing a secure and separate space for your dog when expecting a mail delivery. The USPS suggests dog owners keep their pets confined in a separate room while mail is being delivered.
2. Train for social interaction
Training your dog for various social interactions can significantly reduce the risk of dog bite incidents. Teach your dog not to think of mail carriers as a threat but as regular, harmless visitors.
3. Use a leash or restraint
If your dog is outside and not in a fenced yard, using a leash or some other form of physical restraint can provide mail carriers an added layer of security. This can prevent your dog from making unpredictable moves toward the mail carrier. Many dog bites come from dogs whose owners think their dog would never bite anyone.
4. Update identification information
Make sure your dog’s identification information is up-to-date and visible. In an unfortunate event where a dog bite occurs, updated contact information allows for immediate communication.
5. Make carriers aware
If your dog tends to be aggressive or overly protective, consider informing your local post office or your mail carrier. This awareness can help them approach your property with added caution.
The USPS encourages dog owners to follow these measures, because as this year’s theme states: “Even good dogs have bad days.” After all, mail carriers are integral members of the community and deserve to feel safe while performing their duties.