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Bytes vs. bites

Tech tools to help USPS prevent dog attacks

A recent “Safety Depends on Me” video simulates a dog attacking a letter carrier.
A recent “Safety Depends on Me” video simulates a dog attacking a letter carrier who is shown violating postal policy by wearing earbuds.

USPS has announced two measures to prevent dog attacks, an issue that affected more than 6,500 employees last year.

Beginning May 13, customers who use’s Package Pickup application will be asked if there is a dog at the pickup location.

The second measure, which will take effect later this spring, will allow carriers to use their Mobile Delivery Devices to indicate the presence of a dog at an individual address.

“This is especially helpful to substitutes who fill in for letter carriers on their days off,” Safety Director Linda DeCarlo told reporters in Houston, where employees suffered 77 attacks last year, more than any other city.

The new measures help USPS mark National Dog Bite Prevention Week, an annual campaign that will run from May 15-21 this year.

The efforts include promoting safety tips, such as putting pets in a separate, closed room before opening the front door to a letter carrier.

Additionally, parents should remind children not to take mail from carriers in the presence of a family pet, which could see the gesture as threatening.

The Postal Service’s news release has more information, including a list of the cities where most attacks occurred last year.


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