On Monday, an Amazon delivery driver was found dead in a Missouri yard with two aggressive dogs in it and injuries consistent with an animal attack. “We can tell by looking at the victim's body he had a ton of trauma that would be consistent with canine bites all over his body,” Ray County Sheriff Scott Childers told People, though the cause of death was not officially established. The sheriff shot and killed the dogs, a German shepherd and a mastiff, after they became aggressive with a deputy.
This is horrible. Amazon’s response is not making it any better.
”We want to help ensure you aren’t surprised by our four-legged customers when on route, so be sure to check the Amazon Delivery App for the paw print icon in the ‘Delivery Notes’ indicating you should ‘be aware of a dog at this stop,’” reads a message that went to delivery drivers on Wednesday, Jason Koebler reports at Motherboard. “If we know Fido is nearby, we’ll add the paw print to give you a heads up. As always, contact the customer to help you with a pet, or ‘Driver Support’ in the Delivery App if you can’t reach the customer.”
In the wake of an apparently fatal mauling, “surprised” is the verb they went with? “Our four-legged customers”? “Fido”? It doesn’t sound like Amazon is responding with the seriousness this situation deserves, or with a strong commitment to protecting its workers going forward.
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The body was discovered after neighbors called police because his Amazon van had been left running for hours. On a Reddit post calling for a “NATIONWIDE NO-SHOW OCTOBER 31st,” a number of drivers note that both the delivery company for which the driver worked directly and Amazon should have been able to see that something was wrong by noting a closely tracked van being in one location for so long.
In other threads, drivers reported their own dog experiences and the unhelpful responses from managers. The paw print icon has been in the delivery app for a while now, some wrote, but is rarely used and drivers operating under strict quotas don't necessarily feel able to just refuse to deliver a package for safety reasons.
Although fatal outcomes are uncommon, the U.S. Postal Service reports that more than 5,400 postal workers were attacked by dogs in 2021, despite special training on dealing with dogs. In August, a mail carrier died after being attacked by five dogs in Florida. A lot of people clearly need to ensure that their aggressive dogs are never in a position to attack mail carriers or other delivery people.
The Amazon driver did complete his delivery. “There was an Amazon package. The Amazon driver did deliver the package. It was sitting at the front door,” the sheriff told Motherboard. The dogs’ owners were not home at the time.
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