Houston topped the U.S. Postal Service’s list for cities with the most letter carriers attacked by dogs in 2010, with 62, followed behind by Columbus, Ohio and San Diego, Calif. in a tie for second with 45 each.
In its latest report the agency says 5,669 postal employees were attacked in more than 1,400 cities, resulting in $1.2 million in medical expenses last year, according to their data. Their statistics were released just ahead of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 15-21.
“We often hear two comments relating to the Postal Service, ‘the check’s in the mail,’ and ‘don’t worry, my dog won’t bite,'” Matthew Lopez, the Houston postmaster said. “Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem.”
The Postal Service warns customers that loose dogs can stop delivery of their mail, as well as “cause trauma.” If a carrier is fears their safety, they will ask homeowners to pick up their mail at the post office until the carrier is assured the pet is properly restrained.
As a result, the Postal Service works with a variety of animal and insurance related groups to educate their carriers, and provided the following tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association.
How to Avoid Being Bitten
How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner
Tagged Dog Bites