We all know that famous saying: rain, snow or sleet — but U.S. postal carriers face another obstacle on a daily basis.
“I’ve never had any serious encounters with any dangerous dogs,” said Andrew Mokey, a mail carrier based in Schenectady. “There have been some close calls.”
The four-legged friends have earned quite the reputation with mailmen and ladies over the years. Last year, more than 5,800 mail carriers across the country were bitten by a dog.
“Especially in the summer, or anytime there are breaks when the kids are home,” said Mokey.
What You Need To Know
- According to the U.S. Postal Service, more than 5,800 mail carriers across the country were bit by a dog last year
- Nearly 300 dogs latched onto New York mail carriers in 2020, the fourth most in the country
- Syracuse landed in the top 25 of cities with 14 bites
Fortunately, there were no aggressive canines on the street when this reporter tagged along, but a recent survey by Mokey’s employer shows there are some around the state.
Nearly 300 dogs latched onto New York mail carriers in 2020, the fourth most in the country.
Syracuse landed in the top 25 of cities with 14 bites.
“You hear it all the time. The customer says, 'My dog doesn’t bite, it’s really friendly.' You put yourself in a situation by believing that, and it can really harm you,” explained Mokey.
Mokey says he’s prepared every day.
“A lot of times what we’ll do is, if a dog is coming, you can feed them the mail as you back up, or throw the satchel out at them and they grab that and bite the satchel and mail instead of you,” said Mokey. “One of our last resorts would be to spray the dog.”
In addition to those defensive tools and techniques, he says a responsible pet owner who is aware of their mail carrier’s routine goes a long way.
“Communicate with your customer. And maybe we move the box, maybe we do different things to better our service and keep us safe,” he said. “We all want to go home safe today.”