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Increase in dog bites on postal carriers recorded last year

HONOLULU — More than 5,800 U.S. Postal Service employees across the nation were attacked by dogs last year.

USPS Hawai‘i employees were the victims in 19 dog-bite attacks, a 58% increase over the previous year’s total of 12.

To highlight the enormity of this serious issue, the USPS is providing the public with information on the dos and don’ts of responsible dog ownership as part of its annual National Dog Bite Awareness Week public-service campaign.

“Dogs are instinctive animals that may act aggressively to protect their turf,” said USPS Safety Manager Richard Anderson. “That why’s it’s so important for us to share this dog-bite-prevention information with our customers.”

Below are the communities in which USPS Hawai‘i employees were attacked by dogs. Honolulu, with five dog bites, is tied with 47 other cities for the 33rd-highest total of incidents. Houston leads the nation, with 73 USPS-related, dog-bite incidents.

“Hawai‘i’s total numbers may not be very high compared to mainland cities and states,” said Anderson. “But every single incident is traumatic for our employees, as well as for the customers whose dogs do the attacking. We don’t want anyone to have to deal with the physical and emotional pain or the expense and guilt of a preventable dog attack on a postal employee.”

The best way to keep USPS employees, and everyone, safe from dog bites is to recognize and promote responsible pet ownership. Below are some dog-bite-prevention suggestions for dog owners:

w Most people know the approximate time their letter carrier arrives every day. Securing your dog as the carrier approaches your property for delivery will reduce the chances of a negative encounter;

w Remind children not to take mail directly from a letter carrier, as the family dog may view the carrier as a threat.

When a letter-carrier comes to your home, please keep dogs:

w Inside the house or behind a fence;

w Away from the door or in another room;

w On a leash.

Also, Informed Delivery is a tool for customers. It’s a free service that gives customers a digital preview of the mail and packages that are scheduled to be delivered so that they can take precautions and secure their dogs when packages are delivered to the door. Sign up at informeddelivery.usps.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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