National Dog Bite Prevention Week

By: United States Postal Service Release
By: United States Postal Service Release

It’s that time of year again, and the Postal Service, health care providers and animal protection professionals need you help. Last year, nationwide, 3212 letter carriers were victimized by dog bites. But that pales in comparison to the more than 4.7 million people – most of them children and the elderly – who are bitten. You can help protect our letter carriers, meter readers and newspaper delivery person or your neighbor’s children by mailing sure your pet is properly restrained. Be a responsible pet owner. Help prevent the injuries and death caused by animal attacks. This message is a public service announcement of this station and you local post office.

Tips to help prevent dog bites to letter carriers:

Find out what time the carrier usually brings your mail.

When the letter carrier is due to visit your house, check to be sure your dog is inside. Keep the dog inside until the letter carrier is gone.

If someone needs to open the door to sign for a letter, first put the dog in another room and close the door.

If you have a mail slot, keep dog away from the slot so the carrier’s fingers don’t get bitten.

If your mailbox is inside your fenced yard, and your dog is too, keep the dog on a leash away from the mailbox during the time your letter carrier delivers the mail.

When your dog is outside, never walk up to the letter carrier and asks for your mail. Your dog may think you are being threatened.


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  • by Laura Location: National Canine Research Council on May 20, 2008 at 04:44 AM
    Thank you for using your column to help raise awareness that dog bites are largely preventable. To put things into perspective, that 5 million number is a broad ESTIMATE by the CDC intended to predict every time there is human exposure to a dog's nails or teeth, which includes everything from serious bites to accidental scratches to playful nips from eight week old puppies. It also includes bites to animal control and veterinary personnel. The good news is that number of ACTUAL reported bites has been falling dramatically since the 70's. It's also important to know that the majority of bites are classified by medical personnel as "fast healing, no lasting impairment" - about on par with a skinned knee. We should absolutely continue to encourage education and awareness about safety around dogs. It's also important to keep in perspective that the benefits of living with dogs overwhelmingly outweigh the risks.
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