Baton Rouge letter carrier dog attacks up 100 percent
BATON ROUGE - The United States Postal Service is announcing new safety measures as dog attacks in the Baton Rouge area have increased by 100 percent in the 2015 calendar year.
The Postal Service announced Friday that 6,549 of its employees across the nation were attacked by dogs, according to the USPS annual report on the subject.
“Even though dogs are protective in nature, no letter carrier should experience a dog bite,” said Baton Rouge Postmaster Sarah Augustine. “We are asking pet owners to restrain their dogs, and keep them indoors as letter carriers deliver mail in their communities.”
Augustine also said new safety measures are on the way to alert letter carriers of dogs on their delivery routes. The first goes into effect May 13 on usps.com’s Package Pickup application. Customers will be asked to indicate if there is a dog at their address when they schedule a package pickup. The second goes into effect later this spring.
“The Mobile Delivery Devices that letter carriers use to scan packages to confirm delivery will include a feature that allows carriers to indicate the presence of a dog at an individual address. This is especially helpful to substitutes who fill-in for letter carriers on their days off.”
Baton Rouge was in a three way tie for No. 27 in total dog attacks in a nationwide top 30. The number of dog attacks in the Metro Baton Rouge area in 2015 jumped 18 while there were just nine in the year prior. Houston came in first place with 77 attacks in 2015.
Postmaster Augustine says mail recipients can use the following tips to help prevent more dog attacks in the future:
- 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 get at strangers.
- Dog owners should keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a child 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 vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well.