Santa’s safety suggestions for people, pets and packages

Postal canine mascot Killian Cashew Brennan.Postal canine mascot Killian Cashew Brennan.
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(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)

It’s near the time to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. The United States Postal Service has long been known as a Santa’s helper, and we take this role seriously. Here are some tips to help keep people, pets and packages safe.

People: Last year, 18,684 Postal Service employees experienced a slip, trip or fall. Carriers are encouraged by the Postal Service to wear proper footwear, avoid areas of patchy snow or ice, avoid wet leaves and mud or cracked or uneven surfaces. 

Postal customers also have safety responsibilities. 

Last year, 6,000 Postal Service em­ployees and 4.5 million Americans were attacked by dogs. Here’s what you can do to help:

• If a carrier delivers mail to your door, keep the family dog secured.

• Children and other family members should not take mail directly from carriers in the presence of the family dog, who may perceive the carrier as a threat.

• If a carrier feels threatened by a dog, or if a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a Post Office until the pet has been restrained.

Packages: The Postal Inspection Service is asking for your help to keep your mail and packages safe. Here are a few tips:

1. Don’t leave your delivered mail and packages unattended.

2. Going out of town? Hold your mail at your local Post Office using the USPS Hold Mail service on 

3. Customize the delivery by authorizing the carrier to leave it in a specified location. Visit, enter the tracking number in Track a Package, and select Delivery Instructions.

4. Secure the shipment using USPS Special Services by requiring a signature at the time of delivery. 

5. For your most valuable packages, opt for Registered Mail service, which receives special handling from mailing to delivery, with documentation at each step.

6. If you have a home security camera system, ensure it captures activity at your front door and mailbox, and alert your local Postal Inspectors of package thefts. 

For more great tips you can use during the holidays, and year-round, visit 

The Postal Service wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit Or, visit their Facebook page at Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)