Mail Carrier Dog Bites: USPS Ranks Cities

Montagues versus Capulets. Red Sox versus Yankees. Charlie Brown versus Lucy’s football. These rivalries are rooted in history and tradition, and it wouldn’t be wrong to add dogs versus mail carriers to that list. Just in time for Dog Bite Prevention Week, the U.S. Postal Service is shining a spotlight on U.S. cities where mail carriers are most at-risk for getting bitten by one of their four-legged neighborhood foes. See where your city ranks by checking out Postal Service Releases Top Dog Attack City Rankings (from

Every year, dogs bite more than 4.7 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Thankfully, the majority of those bites are minor and don’t require any medical attention. And of the more than 4.7 million people who are bitten by dogs each year, about 800,000 seek medical attention, including about 385,000 people who need to visit a hospital emergency room or other urgent care center. (See more Dog Bite Statistics and Trends.)

The USPS is asking pet owners to help prevent future skirmishes that are no laughing matter to the people charged with delivering the nation’s mail. And if keeping postal carriers safe isn’t enough of an incentive, there’s always this “promise”, from Ken Snavely, the acting postmaster of Los Angeles (the city that led the list for 2012): “If our letter carriers deem your loose dog to be a threat, you’ll be asked to pick up your mail at the Post Office until it’s safe to deliver.”

So, there’s that. Plus, you don’t want to end up on the wrong side of a Dog Bite Injury Lawsuit.