In April, the United State Postal Service promoted National Dog Bite Prevention Week. I am writing to ask our customers to extend their efforts and help make this "National Dog Bite Prevention Year."
Pet owners' efforts are critical when you consider the number of Postal Service employees attacked by dogs last year reached 6,755 — more than 200 higher than the year before. Within the past two years in Western New York, there have been 155 dog attacks or bites.
My concern is not only for our employees but with the general population as well. Here are three critical points to remember:
If a letter 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. Dog owners should keep the family pet secured.
Parents should remind their children and other family members not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may view the letter carrier handling mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.
The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a letter 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 until the letter carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If a 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.
I am asking everyone to become a responsible pet owner during the coming summer in order to ensure the safety of all of our citizens. Together, we can safeguard all from unnecessary and potentially devastating dog attacks.
Thank you for your help with this very important issue.
Postmaster, Penn Yan