Summer means enjoying the warm weather outside with your furry friend. But it’s important to be mindful of your dog when they’re out in the neighborhood, especially while postal mail drivers are making deliveries. In May, the United States Postal Service (USPS) suspended service to a neighborhood in Greenfield, Indiana, due in part to dog attacks on carriers.
According to Greenfield’s local news station Fox 59, a USPS spokesperson said mail service won’t be reinstated “until residents install curbside mailboxes.” Curbside mailboxes allow USPS workers to make deliveries without getting out of their trucks.
Surprisingly, USPS can suspend or withdraw mail delivery services from any area when there’s a threat to a delivery employee, mail security, or postal property. USPS can also choose not to deliver to individuals with blocked or overflowing mailboxes, or people whose property presents travel obstructions or other hazardous conditions.
Fox 59 reported that the most recent attack in Greenfield happened in April when a mail carrier was chased by two Boxers and bitten on her arms, legs, back, left thigh, right knee, and groin. The USPS carrier required 50 stitches and may even lose the use of one of her arms. Because these dogs were not up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations, their owner Cherie Sirosky is facing criminal charges.
Though you’ve probably seen some heartwarming instances of friendly dogs greeting USPS workers, the image of dogs chasing mailmen is also a cliché for a reason. These USPS dog attacks are not an isolated incident: USPS reports that more than 5,400 postal employees were attacked by dogs in the United States in 2021. “From nips and bites to vicious attacks, aggressive dog behavior poses a serious threat to postal employees and the public,” USPS shared on their website.
To draw awareness to the issue, the U.S. Postal Service is providing information on the do’s and don’ts of responsible dog ownership as part of its annual National Dog Bite Awareness Week public service campaign, which runs from June 5 to June 11.
So, this summer, in addition to bringing your dog inside if they’re showing any symptoms of heat exhaustion, invite your canine pal indoors when the USPS truck rolls around.