SAN DIEGO — San Diego’s postmaster detailed Friday the steps local post office workers take to avoid being bitten by dogs while they deliver mail.
The amount of U.S. Post Office workers attacked by dogs in 2018 fell to 5,714, a drop of more than 1,000 since 2016. In the city of San Diego, 33 local mail carriers were attacked or bitten by dogs last year.
Post office workers have taken to several new technologies like interactive maps to show houses where attacks happened, but San Diego Postmaster Lisa Baldwin suggested that residents must also do some of the leg work to turn mail carrier attacks from a literal dog bites man story to an instance of man bites dog.
“Our employees have been great at taking preventative measures against dog attacks, but they need help from our customers, too,” Baldwin said. “We are confident we can keep moving the trends of attacks downward, and ramping up overall awareness for everyone is the best way to do that.”
According to Baldwin, postal workers often use handheld devices that confirm deliveries but can also indicate that a specific residence has a dog.
The USPS also asks customers if they have a dog when they schedule a package pickup at their address.
The USPS advises residents with dogs to take several steps to ensure mail carrier safety, like putting a dog in a separate room and closing the door to that room before picking up mail at the front door and reminding family members to avoid taking mail from a carrier when a family pet is nearby. Mail carriers will also ask certain residents to pick up mail directly from a Post Office branch if they feel threatened by a house’s dog.
Residents can view a short video on preventing dog attacks on the USPS’ YouTube channel.