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More than 5,800 United States Postal Service (USPS) operators were threatened with “aggressive dog behavior” last year, a matter of concern to the agency.
The airlines have faced everything from “nipples and bites to malicious attacks,” according to the government agency’s annual report.
Houston, Texas tops the list with about 73 attacks reported, according to USPS, which ranks most dog attacks by city. Chicago followed closely at 59, Los Angeles at 54 and Denver at 44.
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Overall, however, California recorded the most attacks of all 50 states at 782.
“I knocked on a customer’s door to pick up a package, and when a young child answered, a dog popped out the door and bit my forearm and knocked me to the ground,” said Kansas-based postman James Michael Benson . “I was in shock and struggling with the dog when it jumped and bit my face again, under my ear.”
A dog barks at the end of its leash as Zoraida Cook, a dog-bitten postwoman, does her rounds. (Ben McCanna / Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images / Getty Images)
To raise awareness of “the enormity of this serious problem,” USPS published Tips on How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner. It’s part of the agency’s National Dog Bite Awareness Week public campaign, which runs through June 18.
Jamie Seavello, USPS acting manager of employee safety and health awareness, said it was “of paramount importance to call attention to dog bite prevention”.
“Dogs are instinctive animals that can protect their lawn, so it is important to educate the public about this campaign,” said Seavello.
Even a bite is “too much”, stressed the agency.
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To prevent attack, USPS says, owners should ensure their dog is secured when the carrier approaches in the mail to minimize “any dog truck interactions.” Dogs should be kept indoors or behind a fence, away from the door, in another room, or on a leash, USPS said.
Owners should also make sure that children do not accept mail directly from the carrier, as the “dog may see the carrier as a threat”.
“Unfortunately, even though postal officials ask customers to check their dogs, dog bites still occur which can cause injury to our shippers and costly medical costs to dog owners,” USPS said in its report.
Here are the top 10 cities with the most dog attacks, according to the USPS:
- Houston, Texas 73
- Chicago, Illinois 59
- Los Angeles, California 54
- Cleveland, Ohio 46
- Denver, Colorado 44
- Baltimore, Maryland 43
- Dallas, Texas 38
- Columbus, Ohio 37
- San Antonio, Texas 36
- San Diego, California 35
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