I mean, really … who among us has NOT felt like biting the closest USPS employee on occasion? I usually reserve my most enthusiastic feelings for the BMEU clerk who drags up some arcane page from the DMM to reject a mailing I am trying to verify. But I’ve definitely had days on the job where I would cheerfully run out and gnaw on the closest person wearing that natty blue uniform.
As much as this image makes me giggle, it’s no laughing matter to the U.S. Postal Service, who takes the safety of their employees very seriously. Over 6,700 carriers nationwide were bitten by dogs in 2016 – up more than 200 from the previous year. In honor of National Dog Bite Prevention Week (April 9 – April 15, 2017), the U.S. Postal Service released its annual ranking of top dog attack cities, highlighted safety initiatives to help protect its employees and offered tips to pet owners on it’s website.
U.S. Postal Service Safety Director Linda DeCarlo notes “Even good dogs have bad days. Dog bite prevention training and continuing education are important to keep pet owners, pets and those who visit homes — like letter carriers — happy and healthy.”
Some of the safety measures currently in place to protect carriers include:
- An application at each Post Office the customer must complete if they are asking for package pick-ups at their residence. The presence of a dog must be noted on the application.
- Carriers have delivery scanners which can send real-time updates if an unleashed dog is reported in their delivery area. The scanners can also be used to indicate the presence of a dog at a given address, which can be helpful for substitute carriers who may not be familiar with a route.
- If a carrier feels threatened by a dog at a residence, that person may be required to forego home delivery and pick up their daily mail at their local Post Office **
And so, in keeping with the current hell-scape we are living in, may I suggest that – if you are in the market for a new pet – pass over the ferocious canine. Just go grab yourself a pussy (cat).
** THIS IS NOT FAKE NEWS. Happened to a friend of mine. She has a dog that is approximately 15lbs soaking wet. But this thing is an unholy terror and one day the mail carrier just had enough. My friend had to go pick up her mail in person at the Post Office for about 6 weeks, until she could get a new mailbox erected away that was down on the sidewalk in front of her house. The carrier would no longer approach the front door with the mail. It was sad hysterical.