PHOENIX — As more and more people use home delivery options during the coronavirus pandemic, mail carriers are even more likely to get bitten by a dog.
So the U.S. Postal Service is asking everyone to keep their four-legged friends on a leash.
“Mainly the owners -- what they think is their dogs don't bite,” said Alfredo Villa, who has been with the Post Office for 30 years. “If it's got teeth, they bite."
In 2019, about 5,800 postal service workers were bitten by dogs. In the Valley, 23 fell victim.
That number was high enough to place Phoenix at No. 23 in the Postal Service's top 25 dog attack city rankings.
Villa says postal workers do have a few defense mechanisms.
"We…have air horns that we use to give us a little bit of distance before the dog even gets close to us,” he said.
“But once the dog is within striking distance, we use our satchel and our pepper spray."
As far as delivering mail during a pandemic, Villa says everyone has stayed healthy and very busy.
"We're essential,” he said, “and we want to get them their parcels, their letters, their birthday cards."
Villa says he’s been working six days a week to make this happen.
You can read the USPS's full rankings here.