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article imageDog attacks on mail carriers increasing with online shopping boom

By Arthur Weinreb     Apr 8, 2017 in Internet
The surge of dog attacks on U.S. mail carriers is believed to be the result of 24-hour online shopping and the dramatic increase of package deliveries. The number of these attacks is expected to increase in the future.
According to information released by the United States Postal Service Thursday, there were 6,755 attacks by dogs on mail carriers during 2016. A dog attack is defined as either a bite or when a dog charges a mail carrier. This figure represents an increase of 200 attacks over the previous year.
As to be expected, these dog attacks are more common in large metropolitan centres than in smaller populated areas. In 2016, Los Angeles had the most attacks at 80. LA was followed by Houston (62), Cleveland (60) and San Diego (57). Mail carriers in Louisville were attacked 51 times.
The 6,755 attacks during 2016 is the highest number recorded since the 1980s when the number of attacks exceeded 7,000. The decrease since that time is attributed to public awareness of injuries and deaths caused after people were mauled by pit bulls and other aggressive breeds.
The current increase is believed to be the result of an increase in online shopping. Since 2010, package deliveries by the USPS has increased by 1.5 billion. Deliveries that once took place Monday through Friday now occur seven days a week. And it is not unusual for postal workers to visit the same house more than once a day.
As Linda DeCarlo, the USPS Safety Director noted, “Even good dogs have bad days.” The postal service has tips to the public to help keep the mail carriers safe.
The USPS advises people to keep their dogs in another room with the door closed when receiving a delivery. A dog should not be allowed to see a mail carrier hand a package to its owner because the pet can view this as a hostile act and attack. If people are intent upon having their dogs run around loose, they should pick up their packages rather than have them delivered.
Since 2015 when the increasing trend was first noted, mail carriers are able to have an app on a hand-held device informing them of homes where dangerous dogs are believed to be.
As noted in the Telegram, mail carriers being chased or bitten by dogs has been a movie cliché for years. But it is not really funny. Medical expenses and compensation for workers cost the postal service millions of dollars a year.
Robert Lieb, a professor of supply chain management at Northwestern University, said he expects the number of dog attacks to continue to increase as people shop online in greater numbers. However technology may change this. If Amazon switches to drones, and presumably other companies follow suit, there will be less packages delivered by mail carriers. Lieb said “I would see eagles, not dogs, taking out the drones.”
The USPS released this information in advance National Dog Bite Prevention Week that will be held next week.
More about usps jobs, united states postal service, Dog attacks, mail carriers, Dogs
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