USPS Offers Tips to Prevent Dog Attacks on Letter Carriers

Chicago saw a slight reduction in dog attacks on mail carriers in 2018, but the United States Postal Service is asking for more assistance to combat the issue.

According to data released by the USPS on Wednesday, there were 37 incidents in which a dog attacked a postal worker in 2018, ranking Chicago eighth in the nation in that category. That was one fewer attack than in 2017, according to the service.

The downward trend of attacks in Chicago is part of a larger trend nationally, the USPS said in a press release, with technology and other measures helping keep letter carriers safe.

“Our employees have been great at taking preventative measures against dog attacks, but they need help from our customers too,” said Chicago Postmaster Wanda Prater. “We are confident we can keep moving the trends of attacks downward, and ramping up overall awareness for everyone is the best way to do that.  We very much appreciate that more customers are keeping their dogs confined when the letter carrier is delivering mail.”

The postal service offered several tips for residents to help prevent dog attacks on letter carriers:

-When a letter carrier delivers mail or package, 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 attack visitors.

-Parents should remind children and other family members not to take mail directly from a mail carrier in the presence of a family pet. The dog may view that exchange as a threatening gesture.

-If a letter carrier feels threatened by a dog, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a post office or other facility until the letter carrier is assured the dog has been restrained.

Houston, Texas is the most dangerous city in America for letter carriers, reporting 75 attacks last year. Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Dallas round out the top five.

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