To the editor,
Dogs attacked 5,851 postal employees on the job last year. In preparation for National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 18-24, Naugatuck City carriers want to remind customers. “There’s a myth we often hear at the Postal Service: Don’t worry — my dog won’t bite,” said Naugatuck Postmaster Douglas Kalahar. “Dog attacks are a national issue and not just a postal problem. Any dog can bite, and all attacks are preventable through responsible pet ownership.”
Annually, dogs bite 4.5 million Americans — half of whom are children — according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention. Mr. Kalahar also reminds customers to safely handle their dogs around USPS employees. He says customers should place dogs in separate room and close the door before a letter carrier delivers their mail.
He also asks dog owners who have children to remind them to keep the animals secured. Children should not take mail directly from a letter carrier in the presence of a dog because the animal may see it 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 a dog running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the animal has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the dog owner’s neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well.
National Dog Bite Prevention Week is sponsored by the Postal Service, veterinarians, the insurance industry and others to educate the public that dog bites are avoidable.
Douglas L. Kalahar