ELIZABETH – Postal Service officials are asking dog owners to do their part to reduce the frequency of dog bite injuries.
“Although the threat is always present throughout the year, the warmer summer months seems to increase the risk of dog bite injuries,” says Elizabeth Postmaster Dennis Allocco. “We are reaching-out to our communities and asking pet owners to help protect letter carriers, utility workers, municipal employees, local children, senior citizens, and all our neighbors from the dangers of dog bites.”
“Dog attacks are a serious problem for the entire community, and not just our letter carriers,” stresses the Elizabeth postmaster. He explains the statistics are very sobering. Nationally, 5,700 dog attacks were reported by letter carriers last year. The postmaster emphasizes that this number pales in comparison with the more than 4.5 million people – mostly children and the elderly – who suffer injuries from dog attacks each year in the U.S.
Allocco has three safety tips for owners to help take the bite out of their dogs:
Teach your dog appropriate behavior. Don’t play aggressive games with your dog such as wrestling, tug of war, or siccing your dog on another person. It’s essential that your dog recognize members of your family as dominant figures not to be challenged.
Be a responsible pet owner. For everyone’s safety, don’t allow your dog to roam. Make your pet a member of your family. Dogs that spend too much time tethered to a doghouse or in the back yard have a much greater chance of developing aggressive behavioral problems.
Stay on the safe side. Help your dog become accustomed to a variety of situations. If you don’t know how your dog will react to a new situation, be cautious. If you think your dog could panic in a crowd, leave him or her at home. If your dog may overreact to visitors or delivery people, keep him or her in another room.
“We try to do our best by stressing awareness of dog bite dangers to our carriers, but we rely heavily on the support and cooperation of pet owners in our communities to help us end these painful and costly injuries” concludes the Elizabeth postmaster.
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