United States Postal Service kicks off National Dog Bite Awareness Week

ByTom Kretschmer WPVI logo
Monday, June 3, 2024
USPS marks National Dog Bite Awareness Week
This week marks the beginning of National Dog Bite Awareness week for the United States Postal Service.

NESQUEHONING, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "Don't let your dog bite the hand that serves you." That's the motto for this year's National Dog Bite Awareness Week.

Held by the USPS every year, the event draws attention to a growing problem for the country's letter carriers and postal workers as they walk their route: dog bites.

Tara Snyder knows firsthand. The seven year veteran letter carrier working in Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania was bit while delivering a certified letter.

"I knew they had dogs, that's why I rattled the cage a bit to make my presence known. But when I knocked on the door, they came right at me," she recalled.

She says the German Shepherd mix bit both her satchel and hand, requiring 16 stitches and an ambulance ride.

She was anxious to get back to her route, where she knows almost everybody's name. She returned back to work a month later and noticed the homeowner moved the mailbox outside the gate, so there's no danger of it happening again.

She asks homeowners to be responsible for their pet's safety and the safety of anyone who might be knocking on their door.

"If a dog has teeth, it might bite. You can see the same friendly dog 100 times before, but if that's the day they're stressed, or they get scared, they can bite," said Snyder.

The USPS has tips to help prevent dog bites. They said you can utilize Informed Delivery, which alerts the homeowner exactly when the package might arrive. This allows the pet owner to put their dogs into a separate room when the delivery is expected.

"It's about knowing your dog, putting him or her into another room," says Linda DeCarlo, Senior Director of Occupational Safety and Health for the USPS. "You'd be surprised how many can open storm doors with their paws!"

The USPS says dog bites are a problem for Pennsylvania. According to the USPS, Pennsylvania ranks 4th in the country for the amount of dog bites with 334 in 2023. And 34 of those happened in Philadelphia.

"We love dogs. We don't mean to be anti-dog. Let's be sure our dogs are safe. Let's be sure the people coming to your door are safe," DeCarlo.

National Dog Bite Awareness Week kicks off June 2nd.

For more information please visit, About.USPS.com.