MASSACHUSETTS — In 2019, 120 Post Office employee dog bite accidents were recorded throughout the state of Massachusetts. Dog bites can be a serious injury for letter carriers who are outside every day delivering mail to each home.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

Even though the number of U.S. Postal Service employees attacked by dogs nationwide fell to 5,803 in 2019 — more than 200 fewer than in 2018 and more than 400 fewer since 2017, we still need customer support to get this number down to zero.

For Postal Service officials and mail carriers, one bite is one too many.

The theme for the 2020 U.S. Postal Service National Dog Bite Awareness Month, is “Be Alert: Prevent the Bite.” The campaign addresses aggressive dog behaviors that pose serious threats to the more than 80,000 Postal Service employees delivering mail and how communities they serve can play an integral part in their safety.

The Postal Service offers the following safety tips for dog owners:

· When a carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, 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 carriers in the presence of the family pet. The dog may view the carrier handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.

· If a carrier feels threatened by a dog, or if a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a Post Office location or other facility until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the area’s Post Office location.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

(press release sent to WSBS from the USPS for online and on-air use)