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Flushing ranked 25th for dog attacks against postal workers in USPS national report

Flushing ranks 26th in dog attacks against USPS postal workers
Photo courtesy of the United States Postal Service

More than 5,400 postal workers were bitten by dogs last year, with a Queens neighborhood among the top spots, according to a ranking released by the United States Postal Service (USPS) on Thursday, June 2. 

Flushing made the USPS’ list of the 25 areas in the country with the highest number of dog attacks on postal workers. 

According to the rankings, Flushing was ranked 25th nationally, with 15 dog attacks last year. While the USPS doesn’t have a ranking for areas past the top 25, Jamaica is on the list of dog attacks with 14 incidents. 

New York City made it to the list of Top 10 Dog Bites, with 294 dog attacks in 2020 and 239 dog attacks in 2021. 

To highlight the enormity of the issue, USPS is providing information on the “dos and don’ts” of responsible dog ownership as part of its annual National Dog Bite Awareness Week campaign. The campaign runs Sunday, June 5, through Saturday, June 11. This year’s theme is The USPS Delivers for America — Deliver for Us by Restraining Your Dog.” 

“Every year, thousands of postal employees are attacked by dogs as they deliver America’s mail. And while it’s a dog’s natural instinct to protect their family and home, we ask all customers to act responsibly by taking safety precautions with their dogs while the mail is being delivered,” said Leeann Theriault, USPS employee safety and health awareness manager. When a carrier comes to the residence, keep the dog inside the house and away from the door — or behind a fence on a leash — to avoid an attack.”

According to USPS, last year, many attacks reported by letter carriers came from dogs whose owners said, “My dog won’t bite.” 

While dog owners with friendly dogs often expect a friendly reaction from other dogs, the USPS said friendly dogs will bite, depending on the circumstance. 

Most people know the approximate time their letter carrier arrives every day. The USPS says securing your dog before the carrier approaches your property will minimize any dog-carrier interactions. 

The USPS recommends that dog owners keep their dogs inside the house or behind a fence, away from the door or in another room, or on a leash. 

During National Dog Bite Awareness Week, the USPS is providing dog owners with tips for protecting mail carriers while making their rounds:

  • If a 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. Some dogs 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 carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may view the person handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.
  • If a 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 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.
  • Sign up for Informed Delivery. You’ll know when parcels are being delivered in advance of the actual delivery and can take precautions to keep your carrier safe.

“The Postal Service takes the safety of our employees as seriously as we take our commitment to delivering America’s mail. Each year, nearly 6,000 employees are attacked by dogs while on their routes,” said Linda DeCarlo, USPS occupational safety and health senior director. “Please deliver for us by being responsible pet owners and make sure your dogs are secured when our carrier comes to your mailbox.”

The USPS says pet owners also should remind their children not to take mail directly from a letter carrier as the dog may view the carrier as a threat.

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