The U.S. Postal Service has released its rankings of the cities with the most dog attacks in 2013. Across America, 5,581 postal employees were attacked throughout the year.
A total of about 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs annually, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of those are children.
Next week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 18-24), and the U.S. Postal Service, the medical community, veterinarians, and the insurance industry are working together to educate the public that dog bites are avoidable, and how to avoid them.
“There’s a myth we often hear at the Postal Service,” said Postal Service Manager of Safety Linda DeCarlo. “Don’t worry — my dog won’t bite. Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Any dog can bite and all attacks are preventable through responsible pet ownership.”
Out of the 30 cities on the list, Houston comes in first place with 63 dog attacks in 2013, while Portland ranks 12th on the list, with 31.
Here's how the rest of the top 10 ranks:
- Los Angeles, CA - 61
- Cleveland, OH - 58
- San Diego, CA - 53
- Chicago, IL - 47
- Baltimore, MD - 46
- Dallas, TX - 45
- Denver, CO - 41
- Columbus, OH - 39
- Kansas City, MO - 33
DeCarlo has these tips for preventing dog attacks:
- If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog into a separate room and close the door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
- Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may see handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.
- The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. 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 until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. 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.