Safety and OSHA News

Top 10 cities for dog attacks on postal carriers

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” But for U.S. Postal Service carriers, dog bites are another matter. The USPS has ranked cities where its carriers suffer the most dog bites. 

The Postal Service releases the list each year for National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 18-24, 2014).

Here are the top 10 cities with how many dog attacks postal carriers suffered in 2013. Where they ranked last time we visited this story in 2011 is in parentheses:

  1. Houston, Texas: 63 (No. 3, 47)
  2. Los Angeles, CA: 61 (No. 1, 83)
  3. Cleveland, Ohio: 58 (No. 4, 44)
  4. San Diego, CA: 53 (No. 2, 68)
  5. Chicago, IL: 47 (No. 11, 30)
  6. Baltimore, MD: 46 (No. 14, 26)
  7. Dallas, Texas: 45 (No. 6, 41)
  8. Denver, CO: 41 (No. 8, 35)
  9. Columbus, Ohio: 39 (wasn’t in top 25 in 2011), and
  10. Kansas City, MO: 33 (No. 22, 18).

Some cities with significantly fewer dog bites from 2011 to 2013:

  • San Antonio, Texas: from 39 to 22
  • Louisville, KY: from 31 to 15, and
  • Dayton, Ohio: from 25 to 13.

Nationwide, 5,581 postal employees were attacked in 2013.

“There’s a myth we often hear at the Postal Service,” said USPS Manager of Safety Linda DeCarlo. “‘Don’t worry – my dog won’t bite.'”

And while rain and snow won’t keep postal carriers from delivering your mail, a threatening dog might. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the Post Office. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well.

DeCarlo has two tips for dog owners:

  • If a postal carrier is delivering something to your front door, place your dog into a separate room. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get to strangers.
  • Dog owners should remind their children to keep the family dog secured.
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