DENVER – Snow, rain, heat or the gloom of night won’t stop a U.S. Postal carrier from delivering the mail, but dog attacks are a different story.
Dog attacks on Denver letter carriers are a big problem, according to the U.S. Postal Service. The city is among the nation’s worst with 47 dog attacks on letter carriers last year.
The attacks mark a 24 percent increase over last year and is double from the total five years ago, the Postal Service said.
A national report was released Thursday that ranks the cities that comprise the more than 6,000 dog attacks on postal employees. The report places Denver at 7th in the nation, between Chicago and Detroit.
Los Angeles leads the nation with 80 dog attacks last year.
“There’s a myth we often hear at the Postal Service: Don’t worry, my dog won’t bite,” said Denver Postmaster Mark Talbott. “Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Any dog can bite and all attacks are preventable through responsible pet ownership.”
Of the 4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs annually, half of all victims are children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Postal Service, the medical community, veterinarians and the insurance industry are working together to educate the public that dog bites are avoidable by providing prevention tips during National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
Local postal officials shared these tips to prevent dog attacks:
1. If 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 get at strangers.
2. Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.