National Dog Bite Awareness week runs May 18 through May 24 and is designed to show that dog attacks can be prevented.
According to the U.S. Postal Service, 5,581 letter carriers were attacked in 2013. In addition, Memphis, Louisville and St. Louis are all listed in the top 30 dog attack cities.
Officials with USPS say they are working with the medical community, veterinarians and the insurance industry to educate the public that dog bites are avoidable.
The USPS offers these safety tips:
- If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog into a separate room and close the door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
- Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may see handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.
- The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well.