Every day, an average of 10 letter carriers are attacked by a dog, according to the Washington-based National Association 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 a fence but, in reality, this is not the case. Being aware of and alert to what animals are around can help prevent an attack.
To help avoid dog bites, NALC recommends letter carriers adhere to the following:
- 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 its prey.
- When threatened by a dog, do not make eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog is gone, and then slowly back away until you are out of danger.
- Do not approach a strange dog, even if it is chained or restrained behind a fence.