Photo: USPS

The number of postal employees attacked by dogs nationwide fell to 5,714 in 2018 — more than 500 fewer than in 2017 and more than 1,000 fewer since 2016. Last week, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) highlights technology that likely helps to reduce potential attacks while releasing its annual list of cities with the most recorded dog attacks. The organization also highlights safety initiatives to help protect its employees and offers tips to pet owners.

“Our employees have been great at taking preventative measures against dog attacks, but they need help from our customers, too,” said USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo. “We are confident we can keep moving the trends of attacks downward, and ramping up overall awareness for everyone is the best way to do that.”

Tips and Technology

DeCarlo was in Brooklyn, NY today to kick off National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which runs Sunday, April 14, through Saturday, April 20. According to her, technology supports carrier safety in at least two ways:  Mobile Delivery Devices, or scanners, used by carriers to confirm customer delivery, include a feature to indicate the presence of a dog at an individual address. And the Package Pickup application asks customers to indicate if dogs are at their address when they schedule package pickups, which allows USPS to send alerts to those carriers.

USPS handheld scanner

The Postal Service offers the following safety tips:

  • When 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.
  • Parents should remind children and other family members not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet. The dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.
  • 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 or another facility 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.

To access the video promoting Dog Bite Prevention, please click here.

2018 Dog Attack Rankings by City
A total of 5,714 postal employees were attacked by dogs in 2018. The top 20 rankings are comprised of 29 cities, as some cities reported the same number of attacks:

Office City

Office State

CY-18

CY-17

1

HOUSTON

TX

75

71

2

LOS ANGELES

CA

60

67

3

PHILADELPHIA

PA

51

27

4

CLEVELAND

OH

50

49

5

DALLAS

TX

49

40

6

SAN ANTONIO

TX

47

44

7

MINNEAPOLIS

MN

38

27

8

CHICAGO

IL

37

38

8

COLUMBUS

OH

37

43

10

FORT WORTH

TX

35

26

11

DETROIT

MI

34

32

12

SAN DIEGO

CA

33

46

13

CHARLOTTE

NC

32

27

13

MEMPHIS

TN

32

20

15

BALTIMORE

MD

31

44

15

DENVER

CO

31

35

15

KANSAS CITY

MO

31

32

18

ST. LOUIS

MO

30

52

19

ALBUQUERQUE

NM

29

22

19

SACRAMENTO

CA

29

24

21

OAKLAND

CA

28

28

22

SEATTLE

WA

27

28

23

CINCINNATI

OH

24

25

23

MIAMI

FL

24

25

23

PHOENIX

AZ

24

24

26

LOUISVILLE

KY

23

39

27

BROOKLYN

NY

22

21

27

LAS VEGAS

NV

22

19

27

PORTLAND

OR

22

24

2018 top ten dog bite states

A national map with statistics for each city can be accessed at this link. For more data related to your area, please contact your local USPS Corporate Communications professional.

National Dog Bite Prevention Week is a registered trademark of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

This a press release from the US Postal Service. 

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