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Dog Bite Is A Huge Problem For Mailmen: Tips To Prevent Them

In recent news, USPS launched a dog paw program to prevent dog bites in six cities of South Dakota and Montana starting from November 2020, with the rollout continuing in 2021. Another authority and professional dog trainer (also known as the “canine man”), Hector Hernandez, demonstrated how to combat a dog attack as part of the National Dog Bite Awareness public service campaign in June 2021. From nips across letter carrier uniforms to cuts and marks across the body, over 5,800 cases of dog bites were reported across the country last year. This is a rise from the 5,714 cases reported in 2018.

The dog bite issue is quite an alarming issue than one would anticipate. Some injuries are so severe that the professionals must take days off from their work for recovery. Besides, when a dog attacks the mail carrier, the owner is held liable for all medical expenses, replacement of the USPS letter carrier uniforms, monetary compensation of lost work hours, and other costs that can be thousands of dollars.

Although the US postal service takes up the initiative to keep its employees trained to prevent any such mishap by dedicating a week to Dog Bite Awareness, even the most trained professionals fail to react appropriately. It all happens within a matter of seconds, thus, making it challenging for mail carriers to address and respond accordingly.

Indeed owners need to take responsibility to handle their pets especially if they are more prone to attacking and biting strangers. But, in most cases, they show insensitivity and put the blame on the animal by saying it’s out of their hands. Pets that attack randomly are only more sensitive and tend to attack as they feel more threatened. Regardless of what happens, here are a few tips to protect yourself from dog bites:

TECHNOLOGY TRACKING

The US postal service recommends its employees use mobile delivery systems that keep track of the presence of a dogs across residential addresses. These smart portals also send informed delivery notifications to dog owners who have access to it to keep their pets restrained at the time of delivery.

WEAR PROTECTIVE GLOVES

Delivering mail to homes, especially to the ones without a curbside mailbox, is particularly dangerous. Most of the workers experience dog bites while making deliveries to the front door. Gloves made of thick and durable material help to keep your hands intact and safe as you carry mail on your route.

ENCOURAGE RESIDENTS TO USE THE PICKUP PACKAGE APP

Smart applications such as the package pickup app provide complete insights on delivery to the customer. This application allows the mail recipient to make changes in case they are unavailable for delivery while ensuring carrier safety. Your local post office can make your location/ service area aware of this application.

Above all, stay aware! Do not run or scream if a dog approaches you; stay calm and still. And if you spot a dog on the loose, it’s better to stay in your vehicle or call the owner to manage their pet.

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