UNION COUNTY, NJ — U.S. Postal Service workers went home with fewer dog bites last
The city of Houston had the most reported attacks. Seventy-one Postal Service workers in Houston were attacked last year, and the city managed to leapfrog Los Angeles — which had 67 attacks — to earn the dubious title of worst city in America for dog attacks. St. Louis, Cleveland and San Diego rounded out the top five with 52, 49 and 46 workers attacked, respectively.
Looking at Union County, Plainfield had the most in the county with four attacks followed by Summit, Cranford and Union with two. Elizabeth, Linden and Rahway also reported one attack each.
But the Postal Service is taking an optimistic view of the data. While still very high, the number fell by a not-insignificant amount.
“We’re encouraged by the decrease in dog attacks,” Postal Service Safety Director Linda DeCarlo said in a release. “The totals are still too high, but we’re confident that with continuing education and dog bite prevention training, along with advancing technology, we can keep more people safe and keep attacks trending downward.”
DeCarlo said the agency utilizes a safety feature that alerts mail carriers to dogs on their delivery routes. The application asks customers to indicate if they have dogs at their homes when they schedule package pickups. That information is then relayed to carriers on their delivery scanners, which blast alerts if an unleashed dog is reported.
“The scanners that our carriers use to confirm a customer’s delivery include a feature for them to indicate the presence of a dog at an individual address,” said DeCarlo. “This information is particularly helpful for substitute carriers who fill in for regular carriers on their days off.”
DeCarlo also offered some tips to residents with dogs:
- If a carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Some dogs burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to attack visitors. Dog owners should keep the family pet secured.
- Parents should remind their children and other family members not to take mail directly from carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may view the person handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.
- If a carrier feels threatened by a dog, or if a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a post office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If a dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the area’s post office.
With reporting by Dan Hampton of Patch
(Image via Shutterstock)
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