BALTIMORE — Some cliches are indeed steeped in truth, and though numbers have been declining, postal workers by the thousands still must deal with the menace of angry dogs, particularly in Baltimore.
The United States Postal Service said there were 500 fewer dog attacks of postal employees in 2018 than 2017, and 1,000 fewer compared to 2018, the agency said in a statement. Unfortunately that still left 5,714 postal workers dealing with canine discourtesy nationwide.
The Postal Service released their annual list of cities with the most recorded dog attacks. Houston led all cities with 75 attacks in 2018, a slight uptick from 71 the year prior. Baltimore came in at 15 on the list, with 31 attacks in 2018, 13 fewer than the year before. A map of dog attacks can be see on the USPS website.
“Our employees have been great at taking preventative measures against dog attacks, but they need help from our customers, too,” said USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo. “We are confident we can keep moving the trends of attacks downward, and ramping up overall awareness for everyone is the best way to do that.”
In order to combat the scourge of snarls, the USPS is trying to utilize technology to keep its carriers safe. Mobile Delivery Devices, or scanners, that are used to confirm customer deliver, can notify carriers of the presence of dogs at certain addresses. Package Pickup applications ask customers to indicate if they have a dog at home, and if so, lets carriers schedule a more convenient pick up when the dog is either not in or contained.
The USPS offers safety tips to keep postal workers and pets at peace:
- Before the postal carrier arrives at your home, place your dog in a separate room or close that door before opening the front door.
- Be wary taking mail directly from the letter carrier in front of your pet, particularly when children are present, as dogs can view this as a threatening gesture.
- If a letter carrier feels threatened by a dog or a dog is routinely on the loose, residents might be asked to pick up their mail at the post office.