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Mail carriers face increasing risk of dog bites

The number of postal workers who are attacked by dogs each year appears to be on the rise with two cities in California making the list of the top five cities for mail carrier attacks in 2016. According to the United States Postal Service safety director, continuing education in the area of dog bite training and prevention may help people who visit homes safely and happily coexist with pets and the people who care for them.

Employee safety is a top priority at the postal service. In response to the increasing dog bite hazard, veterinary groups, insurance groups and the USPS have joined forces to raise awareness of this national concern. These groups agree that education may be the path to a workable solution.

The USPS releases an annual list of the top dog-attack cities. The latest report includes tips that employees can use to better protect themselves from dog bites and attacks. Dog owners who schedule pickups on the USPS website can advise the service that they have pets on their property, and safety measures are in place that alert mail carriers to the presence of any dogs on mail routes. If the postal service receives a report of a dog off its leash in a delivery area, delivery scanners are equipped to update the affected carrier in real time. In the event that a dog is loose in the area or a carrier feels threatened by a pet, customers may be asked to retrieve their mail at the post office until the situation is resolved.

In 2016, 6,755 USPS employees were attacked by dogs nationwide. California residents who suffer serious injuries or illness as the result of a dog bite or attack may be able to seek justice in the form of damages. Dependent upon the unique circumstances surrounding each client's case, a personal injury attorney could litigate the matter in court on that person's behalf.

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