The number of Postal Service employees attacked by dogs last year reached 6,755 — more than 200 higher than the year before, USPS announced April 6.
“Even good dogs have bad days,” Safety Manager Linda DeCarlo told reporters in Los Angeles, where 80 employees were attacked in 2016 — more than any other city.
DeCarlo spoke at a press conference to kick off National Dog Bite Prevention Week, where USPS highlighted safety initiatives to protect employees and offered tips to pet owners.
About 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Half of these victims are children.
To help prevent attacks, USPS has introduced features on its Package Pickup application and Mobile Delivery Devices that alert letter carriers to dogs on their routes.
The Postal Service also trains employees on dealing with dogs, and the organization offers tips to customers. One recommendation: Put pets in a separate, closed room before opening the front door to a letter carrier.
“Dog bite prevention training and continuing education are important to keep pet owners, pets and those who visit homes — like letter carriers — happy and healthy,” DeCarlo said.
The Postal Service’s news release has more information.