Nationwide, 6,244 postal workers are bit by dogs annually. Last year, 47 were bitten in San Diego alone.
To help combat it, the Postal Service has started a campaign called #PreventDogBites to help raise awareness about strategies dog owners can use to help protect postal workers. At Marin Pet Waste Removal, we also walk onto properties with dogs on a daily basis, so this issue is close to our hearts. Learn about the dog bite problem and what you can do to keep anyone on your property safe.
Dog Bites & Postal Workers
Some dog bites aren’t very serious, of course. However, you may not realize that dog bites can be fatal for postal workers and it is a real health and safety hazard for them at their workplace. In 2012, mail carrier Susan Jansen was attacked by a Pitbull from behind, after she had delivered mail to the house. While recovering from her injuries in the hospital, she died of a stroke. Stroke risk can increase dramatically after injuries and the medical examiner listed the dog bites as a contributing factor in her death.
More directly, in 2010, Eddie Lin was delivering mail in Oceanside when he was attacked by a Rottweiler. The dog lunged at Eddie, and he fell down, suffering a blow to the head. He was admitted to the hospital and succumbed to his injuries a few days later. He was a father of three.
Events like this are becoming less frequent. The number of dog bites in San Diego and across the country are still too high, but the overall number has been going down. The U.S. Postal Service Safety Director in San Diego, Linda DeCarlo, credits previous information campaigns for the drop in attacks. You can do your part to reduce them further.
How to #PreventDogBites
Many dogs are naturally territorial and protective of their home and families. We often prize dogs for this reason, but when expressed in the wrong circumstances, a dog’s protective behavior can cause injuries to innocent mail carriers. Here’s what the U.S. Postal Service recommends you do to protect your mail carrier:
- Do not take mail from a mail carrier directly, as dogs may interpret the interaction as dangerous or as if the mail carrier is a threat. This is especially true for children.
- If you intend to take mail or a package from a mail carrier directly, put the dog in a separate closed room first. Dogs have been known to push past their owners and out the open the door to get to mail carriers that they perceive as a threat.
- Do not leave your dog loose a space that the mail carrier must walkthrough. If you do, the mail carrier can request you pick up your mail until the dog can be restrained.
What About Marin Pet Waste Removal?
Is there anything special you need to do to protect your pet waste removers from potential dog bites? We are dog lovers and pretty comfortable around dogs. Your dogs can be left in the yard with us, so long as you’re there to introduce us the first time. That way, your dog knows we’re a friend.