Bad Dogs? The Post Office Bites Back

The whole neighborhood might suffer when a dog bites a letter carrier. The Post Office has the right to discontinue service on the entire block, and make people install special mailboxes on posts near the street. To avoid inconvenience and cost, neighbors should pressure dog owners to keep their dogs confined and prevent them from even threatening to attack a mail carrier.

A recent article about a neighborhood in Danville, Virginia tells the story of what happens in the aftermath of an attack on a postal worker. After it happened, the post office stopped delivering mail to the neighborhood for three weeks. The owner of the dog had to install a curbside mailbox and agreed to put up a fence. (John R Crane, For Mail Carriers, Appointed Rounds Grind to a Halt Due To Dogs; Residents Go without Delivery for Weeks,, August 3, 2019.)

A similar fate awaited the residents of North Danville, where the post office halted mail delivery after two pit bulls repeatedly chased mail carriers. “We cannot continue to place our employees in danger of being attacked or bitten by unrestrained animals,” stated U.S. Postal Service spokesperson Tad Kelly. The animal control department agreed; they confiscated one of the two pit bulls.¬†

Loose pit bulls are dangerous everywhere, to everybody. I favor the enactment of laws giving people a broad right to use reasonable measures to prevent injury or damage from loose pit bulls. That said, no dogs¬†should be permitted to wander through a city neighborhood. The breed doesn’t matter. And when they threaten postal workers or anyone else, decisive measures should be taken to protect people and to force the dog owners to confine their animals.