USPS aims to raise awareness of dog attacks on postal workers


ABILENE, Texas - Three mail carriers in Abilene, and 6,755 nationwide, were attacked by dogs in 2016, and an increase over last year is prompting the U.S. Postal Service to take action.

USPS is kicking off "National Dog Bite Prevention Week" to raise awareness and reduce the number of dog attacks that affect postal service workers.

"It's a constant problem. It really is. Some dogs are great, all they want to do is play. Some are just very aggressive," said Martin Le Charde, who has been on the job for three years.

Cliff Kirk, who has been with USPS for 15 years, says dogs are a problem at least two to three times a week.

Even though postmen carry dog spray, attacks still happen.

"I heard the dog in the background and the dog came right out at me," Kirk said. "This was a huge dog, and he was growling. I stood still and I saw my life flash before my eyes there. I told the boy, 'Boy get that dog back in the house or someone is going to get hurt.'"

Most attacks involve stray dogs, dogs who get loose from poorly constructed fences, or dogs who got away from their owner, USPS says. Some dogs can see mail or package deliveries as a threatening gesture. Be sure to secure your pets in a separate, closed room, especially during mail drop-off.

If your dog gets loose and attacks someone, you could legally be held responsible.

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