Photo: Javier Broch/Bigstock
It’s not just vulgar. The US Postal Service tracks data, and it shows that dog attacks on mail carriers are on the rise. But new safety measures to reduce attacks will be implemented this spring.
Between braving severe weather and taking care of off-leash dogs, delivering mail is no easy feat and thanks to recent USPS statistics, citizens can now know the real risks mailers and bunnies face delivering your mail safely.
The Postal Service recently announced that 6,549 of its employees were attacked by dogs last year alone. In the city of Houston, Texas, 77 employees have suffered dog attacks, which is more than any other city in the entire United States. This added to the 63 attacks reported last year in Houston, and unfortunately, most cities on the USPS list had more reported picks in 2015 than in 2014.
“Dogs are protective by nature and may see our couriers delivering mail to their owner as a threat,” said USPS Director of Safety Linda DiCarlo.
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In an effort to reduce the amount of attacks suffered by its employees, DeCarlo has announced two new safety apps to alert American dog carriers on the roads. The first measure has already gone into effect, and it states that customers will be asked to indicate if there is a dog at their address when scheduling a pick-up. A secondary measure will be announced at a later date and will take place this spring.
“Mobile delivery devices that letter carriers use to scan packages to confirm delivery will include a feature that allows airlines to indicate the presence of a dog at an individual address,” DiCarlo said. “This is especially useful for substitutes who fill message carriers in their days.”
In the 30 largest cities for dog attacks on USPS carriers, San Diego, California and Cleveland, OH each recorded 58 attacks. That’s up from last year’s numbers, San Diego reported 47, and Cleveland reported 37, which means the number of Cleveland attacks increased by a whopping 57%.
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Despite this, there were some cities showing a decrease in attacks. USPS employees in Los Angeles suffered 56 attacks in 2015 compared to 75 in 2014 and Denver also saw a 5% drop in dog attacks from 40 in 2014 to 38 in 2015.
The numbers, however, still show room for improvement. DeCarlo also shared some tips for families to keep in mind when scheduling a pick-up. Remember that if a postal carrier delivers something to your front door, put the dog in a separate room and lock that door before opening the front door. Dogs may burst through screen doors or glass windows in order to get to the stranger in the doorway (in this case, an innocent mail carrier).
Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from the person delivering the mail when a dog is present, as the dog may take this as a threatening gesture and attack the carrier. Finally, if a postal service provider feels threatened by a resident dog, they may ask the owner to pick up their mail at the post office.