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Virginians Need to Consider USPS Dog Bite Awareness

Dear Editor:

Many of us have seen a cartoon or read a comic strip where a dog chasing a letter carrier is often portrayed as a comedic situation. You may have seen a viral video of a letter carrier narrowly escaping a dangerous situation involving a dog.

These instances are no laughing matter. The safety of our employees is a top priority for the Postal Service, and we need help from dog owners to ensure the safety of our carriers.

There were more than 5,800 dog attacks last year across the country with 80 attacks taking place in Virginia. One attack is too many. Any attack can cause significant injuries and have life-altering consequences.

Dogs, even nonaggressive ones, are generally protective of their turf and owners. Securing your dog before the carrier approaches your property will minimize any potentially dangerous interactions.

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

  • Inside the house or behind a fence;
  • Away from the door or in another room; or
  • On a leash.

Our carriers receive regular dog bite prevention training, carry dog repellent spray, and have scanners that alert them to the presence of a dog at a residence. Still, we need your help to ensure our carriers can deliver your mail and packages safely.

Respectfully, Yolanda B. Peterson

United States Postal Service / Virginia District Safety Manager

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