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Letter Carrier Bites 1995-2005

CINCINNATI - Many letter carriers attacked by dogs last year were victimized by pets which broke loose of their owners grip to jump through screen or glass doors. As part of its messaging to kickoff National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 21-27, the Postal Service is asking customers to place their pets in a separate room and close the door before accepting mail at their front door.

"Dogs are protective in nature and may perceive a letter carrier handing mail to its owner as a threat," explained USPS Vice President and Consumer Advocate Delores Killette. "For the same reason, we also ask parents to instruct their children to refrain from collecting mail from our carriers in the presence of their pet."

"Last year, 3,249 letter carriers were bitten by dogs across the United States-including 82 letter carriers from the Cincinnati metro area. Thanks to our aggressive community outreach efforts with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and other organizations nationwide, 71 fewer letter carriers were victimized by dog attacks last year. But even one bite is one too many."

"Safety always comes first," Killette continued. "If a letter carrier perceives an unrestrained pet as a threat, we may curtail delivery and ask the customer to pick up their mail at the Post Office. If a pet roams a wide area, this may also result in the neighbors' mail being curtailed. In these cases, we won't resume delivery until the situation is safe."

Houston postal employees suffered the most dog bites last year with 108 followed by Santa Ana, CA with 94; Indianapolis metro area, 83; Bay Valley, CA and the Cincinnati metro area with 82 bites.

Following are USPS dog bite statistics from fiscal years 1995 to 2005:

Year Bites

1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005

2,851
2,795
2,798
2,541
2,729
2,721
3,158
3,070
3,743
3,429
3,249

 


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