Education and Cooperation Key to Lower Dog Bite Incidents

May 20, 2010


Greenfield, WI — For every letter carrier bitten, hundreds of children needlessly suffer the pain and trauma of dog bites. Whatever the reasons, dog bites are a serious problem for the entire community, and not just our letter carriers. Letter Carriers suffered almost 3000 dog bites last year. That’s an average of 11 dog attacks every delivery day, and that figure does not include the number of threatening incidents that did not result in injury. These numbers pale in comparison with the more than 4.7 million people — mostly children and the elderly — who suffer injuries from dog attacks each year. “Last year, in Lakeland District – which is most of the state of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan - dogs bit 30 letter carriers and interfered with a significant number of mail deliveries, “ said Greenfield Manager Julie Joers.


Fortunately, most dog bites can be prevented through responsible pet ownership. If a letter carrier needs to deliver a certified letter or a package to you, put your dog into a separate room before opening your front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers. The number of carriers bitten by dogs has declined over the years. This is because of greater cooperation from dog owners, stricter leash laws, and stepped-up efforts to educate letter carriers and the public about dealing with the problem.


Joers added, “Our letter carriers are vigilant and dedicated, but we may be forced to stop mail delivery at an address if a letter carrier is threatened by a vicious dog.” In some instances, Postal Service employees have sued and collected damages for dog bite injuries. We can’t control people’s dogs; only dog owners can do that. While some attribute attacks on letter carriers to dogs’ inbred aversion to uniforms, experts say the psychology actually runs much deeper. Every day that a letter carrier comes into a dog’s territory, the dog barks and the letter carrier leaves. Day after day the dog sees this action repeated. After a week or two, the dog appears to feel invincible against intruders. Once the dog gets loose, there’s a good chance it will attack. “Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. We also recommend parents ask their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers. A dog may see handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture,” said Joers. These simple reminders and helpful tips can reduce the hazard of dog bite attacks.



This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.

Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» The Prairie School to host event on gifted children 11/27

» Plans for Alyson Dudek ice skating center move forward with donation 11/25

» Missing Franklin man found dead on Nov. 24 near Oak Leaf Bike Trail 11/25

» Police identify body found near bike trail as missing Franklin man 11/25

» Oak Creek girls basketball team looks to dominate with depth 11/24

» Wisconsin DOT: South 27th Street is open for business during holiday season 11/24

» Meijer to provide food for Oak Creek's annual 'Evening of Blessings' 11/24

» Greendale School Board Academy to be held for prospective spring election candidates 11/24

» Franklin girls basketball team has talent, looks for depth 11/24

» Oak Creek pulls away late to beat Brookfield Central, 59-46 11/21

» Oak Creek 8th graders 'view the world' as journalists in writing unit, 4 essays to be posted online 11/19

» Updated state championship game rankings of area prep football teams and players 11/19

» Franklin's $37 million budget has no tax change 11/18

» Rawson Avenue closure beginning Nov. 18 11/18

» Cudahy man found dead near hunting tree stand in Adams County 11/18

» Greendale trustees raise tax levy 1 percent, bump up budget by 45 percent to construct fire station 11/18

» Coming off good season, will Oak Creek football team dare to be great? 11/17

» Nine Oak Creek athletes sign letters of intent 11/17

» Franklin, Oak Creek swimmers finish well at state 11/17

» Hales Corners Chamber of Commerce to host social on Nov. 24 11/17

» Oak Creek Culver's to host annual Kids2Kids Toy Drive 11/16

» Hales Corners 2016 proposed budget sees 'nominal increase' 11/16

» Legacy Spa & Salon to host networking event on Nov. 7 in Hales Corners 11/16

» Greendale's first fire engine, which entered service in 1938, returns home 11/16

» Videos: Arrowhead stuns Franklin in epic football finish 11/14

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss



Local Business Directory



Most Popular