In response to prolonged dog threats, Marion Post Office told citizens in several parts of Marion to move their mailboxes to the curb in order to increase the safety of their postal carriers.
Marion Postmaster Lori Kelsey said citizens in the 100 to 400 block of S. Freeborn St., the 100 block of Billings St., and one address on Nickerson St. had been told to move mailboxes curbside because of different dogs in each area that posed a continued threat to carriers.
“One of our carriers was unable to make some deliveries on Saturday because of two dogs we’ve already had issues with,” Kelsey said. “We gave dog owners prior warning but the dogs continued to threaten our carriers. We are being very proactive right now, and we’re not trying to inconvenience anybody, but I just don’t know what else to do.”
She said the notice to move mailboxes was sent to the dog owners’ neighbors near where the dog threats continue to occur, too.
“People are very understanding but also very frustrated,” she said. “It’s hard to know how far a dog will go from home. We’re thinking within a couple blocks. There is just less of a chance of carriers being bit.”
By using a vehicle to deliver in the notified areas, she said postal carriers also have a place to retreat should a loose dog attack them and they not be able to use their dog spray effectively.
Moving mailboxes to the curb also allows postal carriers to deliver mail without getting on a citizens’ property, which Kelsey said might have been part of what was provoking some dogs’ protective instincts.
Several weeks ago, two of three violent dog encounters in Marion, near Marion, and in Peabody resulted in injuries to two postal carriers. Since then, Kelsey said a Florence resident also has been asked to change where their dog is tied up to increase the postal carrier’s safety.
The owner of a dog that allegedly bit a carrier in the 200 block of Miller St. has since put their mailbox on the curb, allowing postal carriers to deliver mail more safely, Kelsey said.
“[Neighbors] near there won’t have to put mailboxes on the curb if there are no more problems,” she said.