MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 15: A mailman for the U.S. Postal Service delivers mail on November 15, 2012 in Miami, Florida. The United States Postal Service is working to reduce the number of dog attacks on postal employees. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images)
Last year 5,581 Postal Service employees were attacked by dogs, according to the agency – which is urging the public to help stop it.
Houston had the most dog attacks on postal employees at 63 in 2013, followed by Los Angeles, California., at 61 and Cleveland, Ohio at 58, according to the Postal Service. San Diego, California made the list at 53 attacks and Chicago at 47. Baltimore, Maryland was no. 6 at 46.
“There’s a myth we often hear at the Postal Service,” said Postal Service manager of safety Linda DeCarlo. “Don’t worry — my dog won’t bite. Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Any dog can bite and all attacks are preventable through responsible pet ownership.”
The Postal Service is highlighting dog attacks as part of National Dog Bite Prevention week - an effort to protect the millions of Americans bitten by dogs every year. About half of the 4.5 million dog attacks victims last year were children, according to the agency.
From May 18 to 24 the Postal Service will seek to educate people on how to prevent dog bites and provide tips to dog owners, including:
-Placing your dog in a separate room and closing the door before opening your front door to pick up a package or mail recently dropped off by a letter carrier.
-Reminding children to keep the family dog secured and to not take mail directly from the letter carrier in the presence of a family pet, who could see the person as a threat.
-Keeping track of your dog. If it is roaming the yard or the neighborhood the Postal Service may ask the owner to pick up their mail at the post office until the letter carrier feels safe again.