Every day, an average of 10 letter carriers are attacked by a dog, according to the Washington-based National Asso-ciation of Letter Carriers. The rate of dog bites begins to rise in February, and generally reaches an annual high in June. Ideally, all dogs should be properly restrained by a leash or fence but, in reality, this is not always the case. Being aware of what animals are around in advance of an attack can help prevent a disaster.
To avoid dog bites, NALC suggests:
- Always carry pepper spray.
- Issue letters or warning cards to homes where a dog could pose a threat.
- Do not run past a dog – the animal’s natural instinct is to chase prey.
- If you are confronted by a dog, do not make eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog is gone, then slowly back away until you are out of danger.
- Do not approach a strange dog under any circumstances.