What Does It Mean When You Find Dog Paw Stickers on Your Mailbox?
The unofficial motto of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has always been 'neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of
their appointed rounds.'
But dogs are another story.
More than 5,000 Postal Service workers across the country are attacked by dogs while delivering mail each year, which has led the USPS to start issuing notes to pet owners on the proper ways to 'support safe mail delivery.' Things like keeping dogs inside the house or behind a fence, away from the door or in another room, or on a leash.
In 2020, the USPS launched a new initiative to help curb dog attacks. It's called the PAWS Program and uses stickers to alert carriers about concerns with dogs at certain residences.
It was first introduced in Pennsylvania, but since then expanded to South Dakota later that year and, in 2021, was launched in Minnesota and Tennessee.
The program uses orange stickers with a black paw print to indicate that a dog is present at a specific home, while a yellow sticker with a black paw print indicates a dog at the next house.
So if you find a sticker on your mailbox are you allowed to remove it?
Yes, but you might not want to without making a phone call first.
The USPS says removing a PAWS Program sticker without contacting your local post office first could result in your mail service being interrupted until officials are convinced that any aggressive dogs are properly restrained.
That might take a while.
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