They walk the streets each day delivering America’s mail, and during National Dog Bite Prevention Week, April 9-15, Rockford letter carriers want to deliver a special message to the community about working together to avoid the cost and pain of dog bites.
Last year, 6,755 postal employees were victimized by dogs, an increase of 206 attacks over the previous year. But that number pales in comparison to the many children that are bitten each year.
“Even good dogs have bad days,” said Rockford Postmaster Charles Thorns. “And several of our letter carriers know first-hand about the prevention and the pain of animal attacks. That’s why we want to do whatever we can to help educate the community — especially parents and pet owners.”
More than 4.5 million people are bitten annually by dogs. At the Rockford Post Office, there have been a number of dog incidents within the last year.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report that small children, the elderly, and letter carriers, in that order, are the most frequent victims of dog bites. Children are the majority of victims and are 900 times more likely to be bitten than letter carriers.
“Dog attacks are the most commonly reported childhood public health problem in the United States,” adds Thorns. “Dog bite victims account for up to 5 percent of emergency room visits.”
–Rockford Post Office