That Hurts! Hawai‘i Postal Workers Are Getting Bitten by Dogs More Often

A nationwide surge in attacks prompts the postal service to deliver news that dog bites occurred in these 12 Hawai‘i communities.


Good Dogs Mililani Credit Christi Young

Photo: Christi Young



More people at home with more pets—some adopted since the pandemic began—plus more mail coming to more homes likely caused a 58% spike in the number of U.S. Postal Service employees who reported dog bites last year.


Fortunately for us, the 19 dog bites in Hawai‘i (compared to a dozen the previous year) still rank us well below other states. Of Hawai‘i cities, Honolulu reported five attacks, giving our urban core a tie with several other cities for 33rd-highest in the nation, according to the Honolulu postal service’s Duke Gonzales.


Turns out Houston leads the nation with 73 postal/dog related incidents, he says. Rounding out our community bite digest: Wai‘anae reported three, Wahiawā two; and all these other communities report one each: ‘Ewa Beach, Kailua, Kāne‘ohe, Waipahu, Hilo, Kahului, Makawao, Wailuku and Kapa‘a.


Gonzales wants to spread the word to remind dog owners to adopt strategies to prevent future attacks. Why now? It’s National Dog Bite Awareness Week.


And don’t blame the pooches, says USPS Safety Manager Richard Anderson. “Dogs are instinctive animals that may act aggressively to protect their turf,” and that’s why he’s hoping to curb the behavior by getting info out to owners.


Here are the postal tips for better canine-customer interaction:

  • Since your carrier likely comes around the same time each day, make sure your dog is secure then.
  • Remind children not to take mail directly from a letter carrier as a family dog may view the carrier as a threat.
  • When a letter carrier comes to your home, please keep your dogs inside the house or behind a fence, away from the door or in another room, or on a leash.