CLEVELAND — The City of Cleveland had a relatively unknown problem last year. It ranked fourth in the country for the frequency of which mail carriers were attacked by dogs, according to a news release from the USPS. In 2020, there were 46 such instances in Cleveland, and only Houston, Los Angeles, and Chicago had more. Across the country, there were over 5,800 attacks by dogs on mail carriers.
When a dog does attack a mail carrier, the owner of the animal can be held liable for thousands of dollars because of it, the USPS said. Those costs can include medical expenses, repayment of lost work hours, replacement of the carrier’s uniform, and much more.
The United States Postal Service said it treats the safety of its employees with the utmost of importance and dedicates one week out of every year to dog bite awareness.
The USPS released the tips below on how you can prevent such an event from happening at your home. It takes help from both dog owners and mail carriers to make sure that everything is done as safely as possible.
Door delivery - If the mail carrier brings your mail or a package directly to your door, be sure to have your dog placed in another room in the residence. There are times when restraining the dog isn’t enough, and the animal could break through the door and attack the carrier.
Electronic fencing - When mail carriers do not see physical fencing around a yard, their assumption is often that a dog is not a member of that household. That could be a costly mistake. The Postal Service requests that you keep your dog restrained or inside when the mail is there for delivery. Electronic fences are great for keeping your dog inside its boundaries, but it doesn’t do anything to protect the mail carrier.
Dog in the yard - When your dog is out enjoying fresh air in the yard, make sure that it’s properly restrained as the mail carrier is coming. If your residence is deemed unsafe for delivery by the carrier, it could disrupt your mail service and the service of others. When service is interrupted at an address or in a neighborhood, all parties involved will have to pick up mail at their local Post Office. Service will be restored once assurance has been given that the animal will be confined during regular delivery hours.
Tracking - In today’s age, we’re able to be notified when mail and packages are on the way to be delivered. Dog owners should utilize this ability to ensure that their dogs are not placed in a position to be dangerous to the mail carriers.
Following these guidelines should help to bring that number down, creating a safer environment for everyone involved, the USPS said. For more information from the USPS, click here.
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