USPS Does Little to Protect its Carriers
Ada, OK - In Oklahoma, a USPS carrier encountered 22 loose dogs in one day. The best solution, according to local Postmaster Carol Johnson, is to work with city hall and the community to help prevent dog bites through responsible pet ownership.
Johnson said residents have a responsibility to themselves to restrain their dogs and create safety for their carriers and neighbors. Even if the dog does not belong to them, they should call animal control and inform them when they see a dog at large -- having neighbors do police work hardly qualifies as teaching "responsible dog ownership!"
Last week, a local media company interviewed two carriers. One had been savagely attacked by two huge dogs and was bitten several times on the head. More recently she was bitten on the arm and left with a big scar. The other carrier had been bitten the most with one severe bite to his back and numerous times on his legs.
The question is, why isn't USPS doing more to stop the attacks? A news article that asks folks to be more "responsible" is hardly going to stop more carriers from being severely mauled.
A few recent dog attacks occurred after the carrier delivered a certified letter or a package. Johnson says that it’s vital for customers put their dog into a separate room before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers. The problem, she feels, is not just a city problem.
“We’ve had problems with dogs and our rural carriers as well. One of our rural carriers had to replace two tires because of dogs biting them and ruining the tires."
In some instances, postal service employees have sued and collected damages for dog bite injuries. In 2006 alone, US postal carriers suffered 3,300 dog bites. That’s an average of 11 dog attacks every delivery day, and that figure does not include the number of threatening incidents that did not result in injury.
03/03/08: Dogs Have a Taste for Mail Carrier's Tires