Weekly Feature

2017-05-18 / Letters to the Editor

Preventing dog attacks starts with the owner

Pet owners’ efforts are critical when you consider the number of postal employees attacked by dogs.

For 2016, the Western New York District incurred 82 dog attacks, which was an increase of 19 percent from 2015.

Last year, Lancaster and Depew carriers experienced one attack with a bite, and overall we had six reported incidents with dogs.

My concern is not only for our employees but also for the general population.

Here are three critical points to remember:

• If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to attack visitors. Dog owners should keep the family pet secured.

• Parents — remind children and family members not to take mail directly from letter carriers as the dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a family member a threat.

• The U.S. Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a dog, or a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner will be asked to pick up mail at a post office once a week until the letter carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the local post office.

• We deliver packages on Sundays and federal holidays, so please secure the family pet on these days.

I am asking everyone to become a responsible pet owner this year in order to ensure the safety of all citizens.

Together, we can safeguard from devastating dog attacks.

Norbert Rzeszutek
Lancaster, Depew and

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