The number of postal employees attacked by dogs nationwide reached 6,755 in 2016 – more than 200 higher than the year before. Forty cities make up the top 30 dog attack city rankings (see the chart below).

“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.”

Enhancing Employee Safety

DeCarlo highlighted USPS safety measures that alert letter carriers to dogs on their delivery routes.  The Package Pickup application on usps.com 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.

DeCarlo gave the following tips and encouraged sharing them using the hashtag #preventdogbites.

  • 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 USPS 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 41 cities as more than one city experienced the same number of attacks.

Rank

City

 

2016

1

LOS ANGELES

CA

80

2

HOUSTON

TX

62

3

CLEVELAND

OH

60

4

SAN DIEGO

CA

57

5

LOUISVILLE

KY

51

6

DETROIT

MI

48

7

DENVER

CO

47

8

CHICAGO

IL

46

9

INDIANAPOLIS

IN

44

10

MINNEAPOLIS

MN

43

11

SAN ANTONIO

TX

42

12

PORTLAND

OR

41

12

DALLAS

TX

41

13

PHILADELPHIA

PA

40

14

COLUMBUS

OH

39

15

BALTIMORE

MD

36

16

PHOENIX

AZ

35

17

CHARLOTTE

NC

33

17

MEMPHIS

TN

33

17

FORT WORTH

TX

33

18

ST LOUIS

MO

31

18

SEATTLE

WA

31

19

SACRAMENTO

CA

30

19

KANSAS CITY

MO

30

20

BUFFALO

NY

28

21

BROOKLYN

NY

27

22

ST PAUL

MN

26

23

NEW ORLEANS

LA

25

24

CINCINNATI

OH

24

25

WICHITA

KS

23

25

OAKLAND

CA

23

26

LONG BEACH

CA

22

26

FLUSHING

NY

22

27

SAN JOSE

CA

21

27

LAS VEGAS

NV

21

27

AKRON

OH

21

28

OKLAHOMA CITY

OK

20

28

RICHMOND

VA

20

29

FRESNO

CA

19

29

WASHINGTON

DC

19

30

SHAWNEE MISSION

KS

18