In honor of Dog Bite Awareness Week, the United States Postal Service is calling on pet owners to help lower the number of dog bites experienced by postal workers.
According to the USPS, there were 491 dog attacks on postal workers in Texas in 2019, the second-highest state total in the country.
In the Rio Grande District, 127 of these attacks occurred.
In total, there were 5,803 dog attacks on USPS employees in 2019.
While these numbers are down from 2018, the USPS stresses that one bite is too many.
The USPS is encouraging residents to “Be Alert: Prevent the Bite” and to take caution to ensure the safety of postal workers on their route.
U.S. Postal Service Dog Awareness Week runs from June 14 to June 20 as the USPS stresses that aggressive dog behavior poses a threat to more than 80,000 postal workers.
The following are safety tips provided by the USPS:
When a 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 attack visitors.
Parents should remind children and other family members not to take mail directly from carriers in the presence of the family pet. The dog may view the carrier handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.
If a carrier feels threatened by a dog, or if a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a Post Office location or other facility until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the area’s Post Office location.
“Even during these difficult times, our letter carriers are still delivering mail and they need to do it safely,” said Postal Service Safety Awareness Program Manager Chris Johnson. “We can continue to move the number of dog attacks downward by increasing awareness.”