Reducing the Number of Dog Bites in Massachusetts
The week of May 21 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. As many people know, USPS letter carriers are often the victims of dog bites. The Tewksbury Advocate has a good article today about how the USPS is encouraging dog owners to use their best efforts in preventing their dogs from attacking USPS letter carriers during National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Here is the article:
"As part of National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 21 to 28) the United States Postal Services calls for the cooperation of dog owners in keeping their pets restrained during mail delivery times.
More than four million people were bitten by dogs last year, half of them children and 3,475 of them letter carriers.
You can help protect your letter carrier, meter reader or newspaper delivery person by making sure your pet is properly restrained or confined. Don’t think a fence is the only answer, especially if a letter carrier or delivery person has to enter your yard.
In the Massachusetts Postal District, there have been more than 35 dog bites since the start of the current fiscal year last Oct. 1, and 118 letter carriers have been bitten since last year.
Here are some additional suggestions for responsible pet ownership:
- When your letter carrier comes to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door, in another room or on a leash. Don’t allow your dog to bark, jump up against the door, or bite the mail as it comes through the mail slot; this will only teach your dog to attack the letter carrier.
- If your dog has to be out during mail delivery time, make sure it is restrained and that the length of that restraint does not allow it to reach the path the mail carrier has to take in order to deliver your mail.
- Do not tie your dog near the mail receptacle.
- Do not let your child take mail from the letter carrier in the presence of your dog. Your dog’s instinct is to protect the family.
- Obedience training can teach your dog proper behavior and help you control your dog in any situation.
- Spay or neuter your dog – unneutered dogs are more likely to bite.
- Make sure your dog has had its shots and is licensed."