MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) — Behind children and the elderly, mail carriers are the most at-risk group to be attacked by dogs.
Last week, 40-year-old Mario Moore was killed in southwest Memphis when five dogs attacked him.
Since that deadly attacked, Memphis Animal Services tells Local 24 News, they’ve since caught 12 loose dogs from the area. MAS has also set additional traps and put more patrols in the area.
Aggressive dog encounters is an every day fear in Memphis for mail carriers. Memphis Postmaster Reginald Capers hopes the tragedy can serve as a wake up call.
“Condolences to the Mario Moore family. It heightens the awareness. Hopefully it heightens the awareness for dog owners as our carriers go every day to every house, every company that the awareness is heightened,” Capers said.
During this fiscal year for Memphis USPS, mail carriers have been bitten ten times. There’s been an additional eight reported dog incidents which often means a carrier was injured escaping a dog attack.
Last fiscal year, there were 32 bites.
“It is very traumatic for employees just doing their jobs every day, to just be in fear of doing their jobs every day. There’s a cost for delivering the mail and a cost for the attacks,” Capers said.
Capers said national data tells them an average attack costs $40,000 for lost work and medical expenses. Capers said the injuries have varied from lacerations to stitches to twisted ankles and wrists.
Nationally and even locally, dog attack numbers are trending downward. Capers said that’s likely due to educational reasons. He said every day they work with their carriers on what to look out for to avoid dog attacks.
The fear and risk is still heightened, Capers said. Mail carriers are delivering more packages to the front doors of homes now more than ever.
“We have to be cognizant every day and carriers have to really pay attention. They’re going through neighborhoods. Dogs monitor carriers going through neighborhoods and dogs take the personality of protecting the home so they go after carriers,” he said.
Capers asks that dog owners be proactive and secure their dogs.