Should New York State Cities Adopt This USPS Dog Paw Program?
You may not ever see them, but they come to your home almost every day. That is, minus Sunday and holidays. Yes, I'm referring to the United States Postal Carrier.
My observation is, postal workers are pretty much "out of sight, out of mind." But that's just not fair. They work to get our important (and junk) mail to us in all weather conditions, dealing with pouring rain, snowstorms, and even un-shoveled sidewalks and steps as well as uneven sidewalks, broken stairs, and probably lots more stressful situations that we don't even know about. It can be a tough job, and every postal worker needs to be recognized for their hard work every day.
And then there are the homes with dogs. I'm sure that if every postal workers was given a dollar for every time someone said to them, something like "Oh, my dog is harmless. He won't bite," they would be rich by now.
I have three dogs, and they are well trained and behaved, but I can't absolutely promise that something won't set them off and they take a dislike to a person. Am I 99 percent sure they will be friendly? Yep, but then there's that one percent chance.
National Dog Bite Awareness Week just passed - June 4th through the 10th, and here's an interesting idea that some U.S. Post Offices are doing in some cities around the country including Philadelphia, Cleveland, and other cites in states including Indiana, Montana, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. They are placing paw stickers on the sides of mailboxes to indicate that the home has a dog and/or the next home has a dog.
There are two paw sticker colors, orange meaning the home where the mailbox lies, has a dog or dogs, and yellow means there is a dog that lives in the next home on the mail carrier's route. I think this would be a great idea for cities and communities in New York State as well. As far as I know, there aren't any, but I could be wrong.
According to the USPS Minnesota Office:
These visual cues for our employees are extremely important to curb the risk of injury and dog bites here in the 551 and 554 area. “One bite is too many, and this program aims to educate our customers and provide better visibility of neighborhood dogs to our employees. - Nicole Hill, Communications Specialist for the United State Postal Service.
The USPS notes that in 2022, over 5,300 Postal Service employees were attacked by dogs while delivering the mail. That's 5,300 too many. To combat that, the USPS is doing its best by disseminating important information for dog owners to help curb their dog from attacking a postal worker.
If you have a dog, do your part to protect your mail carrier from any issues that may arise. They will be very appreciative of it.