Postal Service kicks off Dog Bite Awareness Week

Updated: May. 18, 2015 at 3:10 PM CDT
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JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from US Postal Service

While there are no individual Mississippi locations listed in the Top 30 dog attack city rankings released Thursday by the U. S. Postal Service, the kickoff of National Dog Bite Awareness Week May 18-22 is no less important to the 21 Mississippians among the 5,767 postal employees attacked last year.

“There's a myth we often hear at the Postal Service: Don't worry, my dog won't bite,” says Acting Mississippi District Manager Susan Aronson. “Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Any dog can bite, and all attacks are preventable through responsible pet ownership.”

Of the 4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs annually, half of all victims are children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Postal Service, the medical community, veterinarians and the insurance industry are working together to educate the public that dog bites are avoidable by providing prevention tips during National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

Aronson encourages news media to share the following tips when reporting on this critical issue:

  • If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
  • Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.
  • The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner's neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well.

The Postal Service; the American Humane Association (AHA)

the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM),

the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA),

the Insurance Information Institute (III),

State Farm Insurance,

and Prevent The Bite (PTB),

, are driving home the message that dog bites are a nationwide issue and that education can help prevent dog attacks to people of all ages.

Copyright WDAM 2015. All rights reserved.