US Stamps

Dog Bite Awareness Week postmark used nationwide

Jun 19, 2024, 7 AM
A dog is featured on a sprayed-on cancellation used nationwide to highlight the National Dog Bite Awareness Campaign.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

In recent years, the United States Postal Service has taken to various media to draw attention to National Dog Bite Awareness Week. Typically, the USPS has done this with a press release and sometimes a media event.

But this year marked a change with the Postal Service introducing a sprayed-on cancellation to be used at post offices nationwide to increase further awareness.

“Letter carriers are exposed to potential hazards every day, none more prevalent than a canine encounter. All it takes is one interaction for a letter carrier to possibly suffer an injury,” Leeann Theriault, USPS manager, employee safety and health awareness, said in a press release.

This year, the National Dog Bite Awareness Campaign took place June 2-9.

The cancellation artwork features what looks like a Labrador retriever with its tongue out and the text “Dog Bite Awareness #DogBiteAwareness.”

Pictured nearby is an example of the cancellation used at the mail-processing plant in northern Virginia, identified by “NOVA” on the cover. A U.S. Flag stamp was used, providing the clearest example of the cancel found on mail sent to Amos Media Co., the publisher of Linn’s Stamp News and the Scott catalogs.

This started me thinking about the unintended result of how the postmark could land on commemorative stamps or even definitives with a design that in combination could make one chuckle.

I decided to mail out some covers with the 2018 Frozen Treats stamps (Scott 5285-5294) in the hope of having the postmark land just right, but I haven’t received one back as of this writing. The hope is that it would look like the dog was enjoying one of the frozen ice treats on a hot day.

If you find a humorous example or two like this, email scans to or mail examples to Box 4129, Sidney, OH 45365 and indicate if you would like them returned. We would be interested in picturing a few in a future Letters to Linn’s column.

All said, the subject matter is a serious one, and it is nice seeing it promoted nationwide on a cancellation.

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