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Utah mail carriers ask for help preventing dog bites

Photo credit, Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — The postal service says 29 Utah mail carriers were bitten by dogs last year around the state — ten in Salt Lake City alone.

They’re asking owners to help by restraining their dogs so carriers can safely deliver the mail.

Bill Gridley with the US Postal Service in Salt Lake City says 29 bites in 2018 actually represents a slight decrease. In 2017, 32 postal carriers were bitten by dogs in Utah.

He says often, our pets are really just trying to protect us.

“When the family pet sees mail given to a child from a mail carrier, the family pet can see that as a threatening gesture and attack the carrier,” Gridley said, pointing out that a screen door or even stronger may not be a deterrent to a pet who believes his pack is truly threatened. “If a postal carrier goes up to the front door, dogs have been known to actually burst through screen doors and plate glass windows to get at the carriers.”

Restraining your dogs or putting them in another room when it’s mail time, Gridley says, is the pet owner’s responsibility.

Gridley said mail carriers have been bitten in a number of different ways – through the mail slot in the door, by dogs running loose in yards, and more.

Nearly 6,000 postal carriers were attacked by dogs in the US last year.