California Home to Worst Number of Dog Attacks in United States
The United States Postal Service released its own “top 30” dog attack city rankings in 2015, as part of National Dog Bite Prevention Week. The press release noted that 5,767 Postal Service employees had been attacked last year. The Manager of Safety for the US Postal Service, Linda DeCarlo noted “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.”
According to the Post Office Survey, 2 of the 3 worst cities in the US for dog attacks on postal carriers are Los Angeles and San Diego. 74 Post Office employees were attacked by dogs in Los Angeles in the most recent year where statistics are available, 47 in San Diego. The study listed 80 US cities, 13 of whom were in California. The California cities that made the list:
- Los Angeles (#1) – 74 Postal Carriers Attacked by Dogs in 2014
- San Diego (#3) – 47 Postal Employees Attacked by Dogs
- Sacramento – 29 Attacks
- Long Beach – 27 Attacks
- San Francisco – 22 Attacks
- Oakland – 21 Attacks
- San Jose – 20 Attacks
- Fresno – 17 Attacks
- Pasadena – 16 Attacks
- Richmond – 15 Attacks
- Riverside – 13 Attacks
- Chula Vista – 11 Attacks
- Whittier – 10 Attacks
Safety Tips For Dog Owners
The Postal Service encourages dog owners and their families to observe the following safety tips when a letter carrier or postal service employee approaches the home of a dog owner:
- Place your dog in a separate room (preferably wthout a window or view of the door) before going to the door to receive the mail or packages from a US Postal Service employee. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
- Dog owners should teach their children the importance of keeping the family dog on a leash or otherwise secured. Parents should not allow a child to take mail directly from the hands of a letter carrier in the presence of the family dog as the animal may view this activity as a threat to the child and attack the postal carrier.
- If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is allowed to be loose in the neighborhood, the dog’s owner may be asked to pick up their mail from the local post office branch until the carrier is assured that the dog is restrained. This can affect neighborhoods (and the dog’s neighbors) as well.