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U.S. Postal Service Releases Annual Dog Attack City Rankings
Updated April 12, 2017 6:45 AM
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(LOS ANGELES) - The number of postal employees attacked by dogs nationwide reached 6,755 in 2016 -- more than 200 higher than the year before.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) released its annual ranking of top dog attack cities, highlighted safety initiatives to help protect its employees and offered tips to pet owners.

"Even good dogs have bad days," said U.S. Postal Service Safety Director Linda DeCarlo in Los Angeles, where postal employees suffered 80 attacks -- more than any other city in 2016. "Dog bite prevention training and continuing education are important to keep pet owners, pets and those who visit homes -- like letter carriers -- happy and healthy."

Forty cities make up the top 30 dog attack city rankings, Indianapolis ranked 9th with 44 attacks in 2016 with Los Angeles topping the list with 80.

Enhancing Employee Safety

DeCarlo highlighted USPS safety measures that alert letter carriers to dogs on their delivery routes. The Package Pickup application on asks customers to indicate if there are dogs at their addresses when they schedule package pickups. This information is provided to letter carriers on their delivery scanners, which also can send real-time updates if an unleashed dog is reported in a delivery area.

"The scanners that Postal Service letter carriers use to confirm a customer's delivery include a feature for carriers to indicate the presence of a dog at an individual address," said DeCarlo. "This information is particularly helpful for substitute carriers who fill in for regular carriers on their days off."

DeCarlo was in Los Angeles to kick off National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which runs Sunday, April 9 through Saturday, April 15. The Postal Service, joined by the American Humane, American Veterinary Medical Association, Insurance Information Institute and State Farm Insurance, is driving home the message that dog bites are a national issue and education can help prevent dog attacks.

Half of the 4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs annually are children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

DeCarlo gave the following tips and encouraged sharing them using the hashtag #preventdogbites. Click this link to a video on dog bite prevention tips:

  • If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to attack visitors. Dog owners should keep the family pet secured.
  • Parents should remind their children and other family members not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a family member 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 dog, or if a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a Post Office until the letter carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner's neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the area's Post Office.
2016 Dog Attack Rankings by City

A total of 6,755 postal employees were attacked by dogs in calendar year 2016. The top 30 city rankings are comprised of 40 cities as more than one city experienced the same number of attacks:

  • 1st LOS ANGELES, CA - 80
  • 2nd HOUSTON, TX - 62
  • 3rd CLEVELAND, OH - 60
  • 4th SAN DIEGO, CA - 57
  • 5th LOUISVILLE, KY - 51
  • 6th DETROIT, MI - 48
  • 7th DENVER, CO - 47
  • 8th CHICAGO, IL - 46
  • 9th INDIANAPOLIS, IN - 44
  • 10th MINNEAPOLIS, MN - 43
  • 11th SAN ANTONIO, TX - 42
  • 12th PORTLAND, OR - 41
  • 12th DALLAS, TX -41
  • 13th PHILADELPHIA, PA - 40
  • 14th COLUMBUS, OH - 39
  • 15th BALTIMORE, MD - 36
  • 16th PHOENIX, AZ - 35
  • 17th CHARLOTTE, NC - 33
  • 17th MEMPHIS, TN - 33
  • 17th FORT WORTH, TX - 33
  • 18th ST LOUIS, MO - 31
  • 18th SEATTLE, WA - 31
  • 19th SACRAMENTO, CA - 30
  • 19th KANSAS CITY, MO - 30
  • 20st BUFFALO, NY - 28
  • 21st BROOKLYN, NY - 27
  • 22nd ST PAUL, MN - 26
  • 23th NEW ORLEANS, LA, 25th
  • 24th CINCINNATI, OH - 24
  • 25th WICHITA, KS - 23
  • 25th OAKLAND, CA - 23
  • 26th LONG BEACH, CA - 22
  • 26th FLUSHING, NY - 22
  • 27th SAN JOSE, CA -21
  • 27th LAS VEGAS, NV - 21
  • 27th AKRON, OH - 21
  • 28th OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - 20
  • 28th RICHMOND, VA -20
  • 29th FRESNO, CA -19
  • 29th WASHINGTON, DC -19
  • 30th SHAWNEE MISSION, KS - 18

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