Postal Service employees who’ve been attacked by dogs are stepping into the spotlight this week to share their stories — and in some cases, their scars.
Dearborn, MI, Letter Carrier Tameka Toliver recalls being pinned on a porch by a dog that bit her above her knee.
“It happened so fast, even with all my training, I barely had time to react,” Toliver told co-workers at an event at the Dearborn Post Office. “I’m still scared when I get close to that house because I remember the attack so vividly. It takes a long time to get over the fear.”
Events like the one in Dearborn are being held across the nation during National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which is underway through Saturday, April 14.
USPS helps organize the annual initiative to call attention to dog attacks, a safety issue for letter carriers and others. Dogs attacked 6,244 employees last year — more than 500 fewer than the number attacked in 2016 but still far too many, postal leaders say.
The organization is also using the week to highlight measures to reduce attacks, including tips for customers and Package Pickup and Mobile Delivery Device features that alert carriers to dogs on their routes.
Additionally, employees are giving interviews to the news media — sometimes recalling painful memories of dog attacks.
In Houston, Lisa Iseah, a letter carrier at North Shepherd Station, told a TV news crew how she was attacked by dogs five times during her 20-year career.
It isn’t easy to relive these experiences, but it’s necessary, Iseah said.
“Raising awareness will help us do our jobs safely,” she said.