Postal Service releases national dog bite rankings
Washington — More than 5,300 U.S. Postal Service employees were attacked by dogs while delivering the mail last year, the agency has announced.
California, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio led USPS’s annual ranking of states with the largest number of reported dog bites to postal workers. Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Missouri and North Carolina rounded out the top 10.
The top five cities are Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas, Cleveland and San Diego.
To help avoid injury, postal workers are trained to:
- Never startle a dog.
- Keep their eyes on any dog they encounter.
- Not assume a dog won’t bite.
- Make some noise or rattle a fence to alert a dog when entering a yard.
- Never attempt to pet or feed a dog.
- Place their foot against an outward swinging door to prevent a dog from escaping.
The carriers also are trained to stand their ground and protect their body when a dog attacks by placing something such as a mail satchel between them and the animal. A dog repellent can be used, if necessary.
On their routes, carriers have a dog alert feature on their handheld scanners to remind them of a possible dog hazard, and dog warning cards can be used during mail sorting to alert carriers.
When a carrier feels unsafe, mail service to a certain address or neighborhood could be halted. If service is stopped, all mail must be picked up at the post office. Service won’t be restored until an aggressive dog is properly restrained.
During National Dog Bite Prevention Week (June 4-10), USPS offers these tips to dog owners:
- Keep your dog inside the house or behind a fence, on a leash, or away from the door in a different room.
- Remind children not to take mail directly from a letter carrier, as the dog may view the carrier as a threat to the child.
- Know when a mail carrier will arrive by using Informed Delivery, a service that allows customers to preview their mail delivery each day.
|2022 Dog Attack Rankings by City|
|Calendar Year 2022|
|Top 10 Dog Bite States|