New Technology Decreases Number of Dog Attacks on Postal Workers

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
Compared to last year, there have been fewer reports of postal employees attacked by dogs, and it’s all thanks to new safety measures.

It’s no secret that, for some weird reason, most dogs hate postmen. My own furballs go wild when they see the mailman approaching- even though he’s always very nice to them and has been delivering our mail for the last decade. But, while some postal workers have come to terms with the fact that being barked at is just one part of their job, others had more serious issues: last year, there were 6,244 dog attacks on mail carriers.

In hopes to prevent dog bites, the United States Postal Service introduced new safety measures in 2016. When scheduling package pickups on the USPS app, customers are asked if any dogs are living at the address. Then, before the delivery, the postal workers are notified about the unleashed pooch residents via their delivery scanner so they won’t be ambushed by a territorial doggo. And it works- there were 500 fewer incidents after one year of using the delivery scanning technology!

The look you get when someone says you can’t open your package yet.

A post shared by US Postal Service (@uspostalservice) on Aug 26, 2017 at 5:57am PDT

While knowing about the dog’s presence can be helpful, particularly to substitute mailmen who don’t know the ins and outs of a specific neighborhood, it’s not enough to ensure the safety of postal workers. Linda DeCarlo, U.S. Postal Service Safety Director in San Diego, shared some tips for pawrents and postmen alike, the most important being that, if possible, dogs shouldn’t be present when the post is being delivered. It could be as simple as placing your pet in a separate room for a few minutes while you take the mail, or instructing family members not to take mail directly from the postman when the pooch is around, as canines can interpret that as a threating gesture. And, of course, if all else fails, and the postal worker feels unsafe with your four-legged defender around, you might be asked to pick up mail at a local Post Office.

Your dog could be a completely harmless doofus, but it doesn’t mean you should disregard their incessant barking or aggressive behavior when the postman rings the bell. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you won’t have to say goodbye to post delivery because of your yappy (or bitey) furball.

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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