USPS reveals which cities and states saw most dog attacks on mail carriers in 2022

The USPS said over 5,300 mail carriers were attacked by dogs last year

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Man’s best friend is not always kind to mail carriers.

The United States Postal Service said over 5,300 of its employees were attacked while delivering mail last year and cited aggressive dog behavior as a common safety concern. 

Houston had the most dog attacks on mail carriers of any city in 2022 with 57. Here is a look at how the city compared to the rest of the top 10:

1. Houston: 57

2. Los Angeles: 48

3. Dallas: 44

4. Cleveland: 43

5. San Diego: 39

6. Chicago: 36

7. St. Louis: 34

8. Kansas City: 33

T-9. Phoenix: 32

T-9. San Antonio: 32

California had the most such attacks of any state with 675 in 2022, 19 more than it had in 2021. Here are the 10 states that had the most dog attacks on mail carriers in 2022:

1. California: 675

2. Texas: 404

3. New York: 321

4. Pennsylvania: 313

5. Ohio: 311

6. Illinois: 245

7. Florida: 220

8. Michigan: 206

9. Missouri: 166

10. North Carolina: 146

The USPS is campaigning for dog owners to help make the job safer for mail carriers. The agency kicked off its National Dog Attack Awareness Week on Sunday and it will run through Saturday, June 10. The theme for this year’s campaign is “Even good dogs have bad days.”

“When our mail carriers are bitten, it is usually a ‘good dog’ that had not previously behaved in a menacing way,” USPS Occupational Safety and Health Senior Director Linda DeCarlo said. “In 2022, too many aggressive dogs impacted the lives of our employees while delivering the mail. Please help us reduce that number by being a responsible pet owner who secures their dog as we deliver the mail.”

Among the tips for dog owners, the USPS says securing the dog before the mail carrier arrives at their usual time could minimize potentially dangerous interactions. The USPS suggests keeping the dog inside the house, behind a fence, away from the door, in another room or on a leash in anticipation of a mail delivery. 

The USPS said its carriers are trained to respect a dog’s territory, not startle dogs, make some noise or rattle a fence to alert a dog if entering a yard and more. They are also trained to put something between themselves and a dog – like a mail satchel – if there is an attack and are advised to use dog repellent if necessary. 

Another measure the USPS has in place allows carriers to halt mail service for a particular dog owner and potentially a whole neighborhood if they feel unsafe. In those situations, those people must pick up their mail at their local post office.

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