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USPS: LA is no. 1 in dogs attacking mail carriers

Photo by josh bis via Flickr Creative Commons

The USPS says 69 postal employees were attacked in L.A. last year "placing the City of Angels as the most vicious for dog attacks" in the country.

The agency released the city ranking numbers on Wednesday in advance of National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 19-25).

Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Nearly 5,900 letter carriers were attacked last year, but that pales in comparison to the 4.7 million Americans annually bitten by dogs — more than half of whom are children — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Last week in California a 63-year-old jogger was mauled to death by a pack of pit bulls in the Mojave Desert.

USPS is urging pet owners to help reduce the number of incidents. If letter carriers feel threatened by a dog, they can skip delivery to the house and ask the customer to retrieve any mail at the post office instead. Says the USPS: situations where a dog roams the neighborhood, delivery to the owner’s neighbors could be curtailed as well. Additionally, when letter carriers come to a customer’s door, pet owners are asked to place dogs in a separate room and close the door, as many canines have been known to jump through screen and glass doors.

USPS: How to be a Responsible Dog Owner

  • Obedience training can teach dogs proper behavior and help owners control their dogs in any situation.
  • Dogs can be protective of their territory and may interpret the actions of a letter carrier as a threat. Please take precautions when accepting mail in the presence of your pet.
  • When a letter carrier comes to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door, in another room or on a leash.
  • Dogs that haven’t been properly socialized, receive little attention or handling, or are left tied up for long periods of time frequently turn into biters.

Fiscal Year 2012 U.S. Postal Service Dog Attack City Ranking

(Ranking | City, State | Attacks)

  1. Los Angeles, CA: 69
  2. San Antonio, TX and Seattle, WA: 42
  3. Chicago, IL: 41
  4. San Francisco, CA: 38
  5. Philadelphia, PA: 34
  6. Detroit, MI: 33
  7. St. Louis, MO: 32
  8. Baltimore, MD and Sacramento, CA: 29
  9. Houston, TX and Minneapolis, MN: 27
  10. Cleveland and Dayton, OH: 26
  11. Buffalo and Brooklyn, NY: 24
  12. Denver, CO: 23
  13. Dallas, TX and Tacoma, WA: 21
  14. Wichita, KS: 20