In 2023 Dogs Bit More Than 5,800 Letter Carriers Nationwide

Lauren Harksen

In 2023, dogs bit more than 5,800 letter carriers nationwide. As part of an awareness campaign, the United States Postal Service is asking dog owners to help keep their employees safe.

Because they are out in the community, approaching homes, letter carriers are exposed to potential hazards every day.

While no letter carriers died from a dog bite last year, it has happened in the past.

Spokesperson Debra Fetterly says their employees are trained to respect a dog’s territory by not startling the animal and keeping a close eye on him or her.

Fetterly says if a dog does attack, they’re taught to stand their ground by placing their mail satchel between themselves and the animal, or using dog repellent.

There are things you can do as a dog owner too.

“Your dog might be friendly to you, but your dog is guarding you and your territory or your home,” said Fetterly. “He might not feel the same way when the mail carrier comes into the yard so you want to keep your dog on a leash or keep your dog in the house. It’s best if you can put your dog in a back room when you know that your letter carrier is going to be delivering a package to the front door.”

In a press release, USPS says according to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost per insurance claim for a dog bite is almost $65,000. When a postal employee suffers an injury, the owner could be responsible for medical bills, lost wages, uniform replacement costs, and pain and suffering for the employee.

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