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The San Francisco Post Office is challenging dog owners to show how they are keeping mail carriers safe from dog bites and attacks by posting a “Sit, Stay, Selfie” dog photo.
Now through Friday, Bay Area dog owners are encouraged to post a picture on Twitter with the #DogBiteAwareness hashtag showing how they will keep their neighborhood carrier out of harm’s way.
According to the U.S. Postal Service, a recent report named San Francisco as a one of the 25 worst cities in the nation for dog attacks, with more than 14 attacks last year. Nationwide, more than 6,000 postal employees were attacked last year, postal officials said.
When more people stay at home during the day, as many Bay Area residents have during the COVID-19 pandemic, the incidents of dog attacks on mail carriers tends to increase.
Children and sometimes adults may rush to the door when they see a mail carrier, which can excite their pet dog who follows them, leaving the postal carrier vulnerable to attack.
The postal service is asking dog owners to wait for the carrier to leave the area before opening their doors. If the dog is outside, it should be properly restrained and out of reach of the mail carrier, officials said.
If the carrier deems a residence unsafe because of an unrestrained dog, delivery will be interrupted and the residents will have to pick up their mail at the post office until carriers have assurance the dog will be restrained.
“Protecting our neighborhood carriers from dog bites is a collective community effort,” San Francisco Postmaster Avinesh Kumar said. “With the support of dog owners, they can teach themselves and their dogs a new trick.”