Twin Cities sees increase in mail carriers bitten by dogs, awareness program launched

The United States Postal Services is launching a new program in two areas in the Twin Cities metro to help lower the amount of dog bites suffered by postal workers.

So far in 2021, more than 4,200 USPS workers have been injured by dogs. In the Twin Cities metro, 32 mail carriers have been bitten by dogs this year, compared to 19 bitten last year.

To raise awareness, the USPS is starting the Dog Paw program, which uses color-coded stickers on mailboxes. An orange dog paw sticker means a dog lives at the home and the yellow sticker lets the postal worker know a dog is at the next house.

The sticker program will be implemented across zip codes in the 551 and 554 areas, which includes Minneapolis and St. Paul. Customers will receive a postcard about the program.

"One bite is too many, and this program aims to educate our customers and provide better visibility of neighborhood dogs to our employees," said Nicole Hill, communications specialist for the Postal Service, in a statement.