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Last year, around 5,800 postmen were attacked by dogs nationwide, and Chicago ranked second among US cities with 59 dog attacks.
The U.S. Postal Service released the numbers as part of its annual National Dog Bite Awareness Week, which began Saturday.
“Raising awareness about dog bite prevention and protecting our postmen when delivering mail is of paramount importance,” said Jamie Seavello, acting health and safety officer at the Post, as quoted in a press release.
The statistics also show that Illinois ranks sixth nationwide when compared to other states with 290 attacks versus 238 the previous year.
The worst city for dog attacks last year was Houston with 73. Chicago was just ahead of Los Angeles with 54 attacks. In terms of statewide numbers, Illinois was just behind the 201 attacks by Pennsylvania in 2020, although Pennsylvania fell from 320 in 2019, while Illinois was way up with 238 attacks in 2019.
A spokesman for the National Association of Postmen said the union could not respond immediately to a request for comment on the numbers.
The postal service said it was training its shippers in dog safety, e. But there were also tips for customers on what to do to keep mail carriers safe. This includes reminding children not to accept mail directly from the delivery person, as the dog may see the postman as a threat. It is better to keep the dog on a leash, away from the door and in the house or behind a fence.