Three mailmen from the United States Postal Service were attacked by dogs in Davenport, Iowa, forcing them to suspend its deliveries to three of the neighborhoods in the area.
A letter dated June 6 was sent to residents explaining that three mailmen had been attacked by dogs in the last five days, according to KWQC. Almost 6,000 mailmen were attacked by dogs in 2018, the letter explained. It did not describe the condition of those bitten.
One mail carrier shared their story of being attacked by a dog at a National Dog Bite Prevention event in April.
“My nose, it was bit off,” the mail carrier said. “It came into the LLB, which is the mail truck” after breaking loose from their owner’s grip.
WATCH LIVE: A mail carrier who was viciously attacked by a dog in Detroit back in February is expected to speak at a press conference. USPS is hoping to raise public awareness on how to prevent dog attacks.MORE INFO: https://bit.ly/2v3PvSe
Posted by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 on Monday, April 15, 2019
The letter read that the agency is currently “reviewing options for delivery including possibly converting delivery to a neighborhood delivery collection box unit,” reported KWQC.
Postmaster Anthony Harris said in the letter that dog attacks are dangerous, but also costly to both the Postal Service and the owner of the animal.
When They Say the Dog Doesn’t Bite
To help lower the number of dog attacks across America, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals holds Dog Bite Prevention Week every year.
Linda Decarlo, the Postal Service’s National Director of Safety, said at the event in 2017, “Dog owners love to say that their dog doesn’t bite,” according to AP. Thereafter, she described an ironic mishap.
Sometimes the carrier must decide between risking his skin or postponing the delivery.
“I don’t blame him because [my dog] does seem vicious—but he’s not,” said Mary Ramirez, whose carrier skipped her home at the sight of her fastened small dog, she told AP. “He just likes to bark.”
This year, the agency in Phoenix, Arizona, has had its carriers test a new tool that protects against menacing four-legged sentinels.
It is a miniature air-horn and according to an article by ABC 15, it’s getting “positive remarks from carriers.”
“Especially the larger dogs, they perk up, and they don’t like the sound. The small dogs have a tendency to stop and to wonder what it is,” one carrier told ABC Arizona.
A satchel and dog spray have been the standard defensive gear of mailmen in the agency. While the spray proves useful, it can also be useless, as Theresa Trotter—a carrier for the agency—explained to AP.
The dog that attacked her refused to loosen its grip on her knee even after she sprayed him.
Numbers Are Dropping
Dog attacks across America dropped in 2018 to 5,714, with 700 less incidents that in 2017, according to ABC 15. In 2016, the number of dog attacks were close to 7,000.
But the Postal Service believes that its carriers also need help from the neighborhood, recommending the following tip for dog owners to ensure that their post and mail carrier has a safe visit:
- When a letter 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. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate glass windows to attack visitors.
For more information of preventative measures against dog attacks, visit the Postal Service’s website.