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California letter carriers and their canine problems


“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” is a creed that seems incomplete, particularly over more than a year of dealing with a deadly virus’ spread throughout the country.

The COVID-19 pandemic also did not stop mail carriers from their appointed rounds. While people were shut in, the USPS in California continued to have their letter carriers were out and about. While they faced significant risks, one in particular topped all the other states.

Dog attacks.

The Golden State tops the list

California was first in dog attacks with 782, an increase of five in 2019. Among 47 cities in the USPS study, Los Angeles was third with nearly 60 employees suffering attacks from dogs, with Houston and Chicago taking the first and second spots.

Nationally, over 5,800 postal workers suffered attacks in 2020.

Last month was the USPS’ National Dog Bite Awareness Week to educate dog owners on handling dogs and the consequences of their pets’ aggressive behavior that range from nips and bites to life-threatening attacks.

The initiative encourages homeowners to restrain their dogs or keep them behind a fence or in their residences. Conversely, postal employees should use their training and instincts to identify the presence of a canine and the steps to take afterward. Should an attack occur, they are instructed to stand their ground and use repellant as needed.

Residents who fail to control their dogs could see their mail service temporarily stopped. Proper restraint of animals will result in the restoration of their services.

Regardless of the setting or the victim, dog attacks can be emotionally and physically traumatic. Injuries go beyond bites and can result in psychological trauma. Owners must be held accountable for falling short in ensuring safe environments on their properties.