San Diego

San Diego ranks 6th in most dog attacks on mail carriers in 2023, USPS says

In the latest rankings, San Diego had the second most attacks out of all California cities

MIAMI - AUGUST 05: U.S. Postal Service mail carrier, Alberto Jo, delivers mail to homes on August 5, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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The U.S. Postal Service released rankings Thursday tallying which cities had the most dog attacks upon postal employees last year. San Diego was in sixth place with 41 recorded attacks.

The rankings were released ahead of the USPS 2024 National Dog Bite Awareness Campaign, which begins Sunday and highlights the dangers postal employees face when delivering mail around canine residents.

The USPS says more than 5,800 postal employees were attacked by dogs last year across the U.S.

In the latest rankings, San Diego had the second most attacks out of all California cities.

Los Angeles placed first, with 65 attacks. Sacramento was tied for 16th, with 26 reported attacks, while Long Beach was tied for 20th, with 19.

California by far outpaced all other states, with a total of 727 attacks reported last year, up from 675 in 2022. Texas finished a distant second, with 411 reported attacks, up from 404 the year before.

"Letter carriers are exposed to potential hazards every day, none more prevalent than a canine encounter. All it takes is one interaction for a letter carrier to possibly suffer an injury," Leeann Theriault, USPS manager of Employee Safety and Health Awareness, said in a statement. "The U.S. Postal Service consistently encourages responsible pet ownership. The national dog bite campaign is an effort to promote dog bite awareness to keep our customers, their dogs and letter carriers safe while delivering the mail."

As part of the National Dog Bite Awareness Campaign, USPS will be promoting ways dog owners can ensure the safety of letter carriers. The campaign's theme is "Don't let your dog bite the hand that serves you."

USPS officials urged dog owners to keep their animals inside the house or behind a fence when a letter carrier is approaching. The animals should also be kept away from the door or in another room, or on a leash.

Pet owners were also advised not to let their children take mail directly from a letter carrier, "as the dog may view the carrier as a threat to the child."

The USPS noted that mail carriers are trained on how to respond to potentially threatening situations by working to avoid startling a dog, never attempting to pet or feed a dog and never assuming that a dog will not bite.

"Even though a customer's dog is friendly to most people, it can always have a bad day," letter carrier Tara Snyder said in a statement. "I know from experience even when a dog is in the house, customers need to make sure their door is secure so their dog can't push it open and bite the letter carrier."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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