Despite a nationwide decline of dog attacks on workers with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), Philadelphia has seen an alarming increase in the number of USPS workers attacked by dogs. Nationwide, there were 500 fewer dog bite attacks in 2018 than in 2017 and 1,000 fewer than the year before. However, in Philly, the number increased, with 51 attacks in 2018 compared to just 27 in 2017.
The USPS credits the steep decline in dog attacks on its workers with several technology improvements designed to keep its carriers safer and make them less vulnerable to the peril presented by aggressive dogs—one that’s likely as old as the postal service itself. New mobile delivery scanners and the USPS’ package pickup app are credited with the overall nationwide decline in attacks. Carriers can use mobile delivery scanners to confirm package deliveries, and their scanners alert them when there are dogs at specific locations. Meanwhile, the app queries the customer as to the presence of dogs, so that USPS personnel can be mindful of them when making deliveries.
It is unclear why the rate of attacks in Philadelphia has increased while decreases are noted in most other cities. However, the USPS offers some advice for keeping your favorite mailman safe from your dog while he drops off your mail or packages. These include:
- When the mailman rings your bell, take your dog to another room before answering the door. Many attacks occur when dogs charge through screen doors or windows, so corralling the dog in another room eliminates that concern.
- Remind family members and children not to take the mail directly from the carrier when the dog is around. The act of exchanging the mail from one hand to another may be seen as the dog as a threatening gesture, and it can result in an attack.
- Be understanding of your carrier if he or she feels threatened by a dog and asks you to pick up your mail at a local office until your dog can be restrained. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so always err on the side of caution.
With around 6,000 postal workers attacked by dogs each year, it makes sense to put these tips into action. Even the most docile, friendly and loving pet can attack when it feels threatening or fears that a stranger is encroaching on its family or territory. Remember, just because a dog has never attacked, it doesn’t mean it will never attack. Dogs are animals, and as such, they have instinctive behaviors and triggers that can lead them to become violently aggressive at the drop of a hat, even without provocation.
Attacked or Mauled by a Dog?
Perhaps nothing is more frightening than being attacked by an aggressive dog. At The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C., our Philadelphia pedestrian accident attorney has a history of helping our injured clients receive the compensation due to them following horrific dog bite attacks. Let us help you hold the owner of a vicious dog accountable for your damages. Contact us at 215-543-7220 to set up your free case evaluation today.