Mail carrier dog attacks rise; USPS delivers important message as Detroit makes top 10 cities for attacks in the country

Posted at 5:06 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 21:59:58-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — In 2020 USPS experienced more than 5,800 dog attacks. In the Detroit area, there were 35 attacks.

USPS leaders say that number is increasing due to more people staying at home and pet adoptions.

On Monday, the post office hosted a demonstration to help keep mail carriers safe. Dog trainer Hector Hernandez showed mail carriers how they can use their satchels and pepper spray to prevent a dog bite.

There is still only so much a mail carrier can do. Below are some tips from USPS on how to help keep your mail carrier safe:

  • Door Delivery: If a carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Some dogs push through screen doors or plate-glass windows to attack visitors. Dog owners must keep the family pet secured. Never take mail directly from carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may see this as a threatening gesture.
  • Electronic Fencing: Carriers may assume, if they see no physical fence around a property, that the property is animal-free. This can be a dangerous mistake.
  • Postal Service officials request that you keep your dog restrained or inside when the mail is delivered. Although the electronic fence may keep your dog from wandering, it does not protect your carrier, who must enter your property to deliver the mail. Even homes with curbside mailboxes may have oversized packages or signature-needed items that require the carrier to approach a doorstep and cross the boundaries of the electronic fence. This poses a serious risk to carrier safety.
  • Dog in the Yard: Make sure your dog is properly restrained on a leash and away from where your mail carrier delivers the mail. If the carrier deems a residence unsafe because of an unrestrained dog, mail delivery service can be interrupted. When service is interrupted at an address or in a neighborhood, all parties involved will have to pick up mail at their local Post Office. Service will be restored once assurance has been given that the animal will be confined during regular delivery hours.
  • Tracking: Dog owners who have access to postal notification features, such as Informed Delivery ( for letter mail and package tracking, are urged to use these features to determine when the carrier is on their way and to ensure their dog has been properly restrained. Expecting a postal package delivery on Sunday? Postal officials urge dog owners to restrain their animals on Sundays as well, as more residences now receive deliveries throughout the weekend.