USPS unveils “Dog Paw Program”, hopes to cut down on postal carrier dog attacks

RAPID CITY, S.D. — They brave the cold weather and in some cases your pet in order to bring you your mail.

While your furry friend may have the best intentions in mind, they could also prove to be somewhat harmful to your postal worker.

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According to the U.S.P.S., the number of reported dog attacks and dogs bites against postal workers has risen this year to over 6,000, compared to just over 5,800 last year.

That’s where the U.S.P.S.’s new Dog Paw Program comes in.

Using yellow and orange stickers, postal workers who aren’t familiar with the owner of the home or dog will be able to identify residences in which K-9s could be a threat.

“By making the carriers aware before they get to the delivery that there’s a dog there or potential threat, it gives them the opportunity to be prepared should something happen,” said Lyle La Croix, the U.S.P.S. Poster Master of Rapid City.

With more people shopping online during the pandemic, postal workers are bringing more packages to your front door. It’s vital that customers know to keep their pet in check.

“It’s one of those things where we’re going to the door more often, again with the dogs and the Dog Paw Program that allows us to help the person that comes even behind him or the other carrier to be aware of those dogs,” La Croix said. “It just helps us be more proactive and in another sense it also helps the customers and it helps make them aware of the issues that we face every day.”

Reducing the amount of time that your pets come into contact with postal workers can help prevent them from being your dogs next chew toy, and creates a safe environment for them to do their job.

“If you have a front-fenced yard, you put your mailbox outside that so we don’t have to go up to the door,” said David Pelletier, a U.S.P.S. Rapid City Postal Carrier. “Obviously with packages we would still have to, ya know, come inside that but just anything that the customer can do to help reduce the interaction with their pet and us.”

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