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Local Postmaster warns of dog bites; Letter to the Editor

Posted on Friday, April 19, 2013 at 8:48 am

Dear Editor,

Dog bites are a safety problem and that have plagued the U.S. Postal Services for many years. Last year, letter carriers working in Central and Northeastern Missouri and Southern Illinois suffered more than 131 dog bite injuries. In addition, other letter carriers were injured falling off porches and down stairs trying to avoid being bitten. Recently, two letter carriers suffered serious injury requiring hospitalization and surgeries.

Although the Postal Services has reduced the number of the dog bite occurrences nationwide by promoting public awareness of responsible pet ownership and by providing in-depth training to carriers on how to avoid confrontations with dogs, unrestrained dogs continue to endanger letter carriers every day. Dogs on the loose pose a serious threat to letter carriers, children and anyone working or playing outdoors.

The United States Postal Services has an obligation to provide a safe work environment for its employees. Unrestrained dogs create an unreasonable safety risk for our letter carriers.

To reduce the potential for injury to letter carriers, delivery service may be temporarily withdrawn when dangerous dogs or other pets interfere with their ability to complete mail delivery. Owners must keep dogs and other pets inside restrained during delivery hours. You will be notified promptly is services is suspended. Mail delivery will resume as soon as the Postal Service is confident the pet is no longer a threat.

Letter carriers take pride in delivering you mail promptly and efficiently. Please, help them deliver your mail safely. Keep your dog inside.

Thank you for your assistance.

Bill Haugen, Elsberry Postmaster