Ask any mail carrier what they are concerned about on the job and topping the list will be dog attacks.
Last year in Youngstown, there were 17 dog attacks on mail carriers. Already this year, that number sits at six.
Mark Rivera with the United States Postal Service said the demonstrations Thursday are being conducted to show carriers how dangerous dog bites are and how to anticipate when an animal is about to attack.
Rivera said things like the stance of the dog, its ears and tail could be cues that the animal could be about to attack or is agitated. All things mail carriers should be aware of.
“It’s a very important thing to hold because it’s one of the more serious accidents that carriers can have – the most damage to their body. They can have hospital stays. Some carriers have been bitten and been off work for long periods of time because of dog attacks,” Caggiano said.
Owners can help carriers out by following these guidelines:
-When a letter carrier delivers mail or package, 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 a mail carrier in the presence of a family pet. The dog may view that exchange as a threatening gesture.
-If a letter carrier feels threatened by a dog, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a post office or other facility until the letter carrier is assured the dog has been restrained.