Over 5,800 Postal Service employees were attacked by dogs in 2020 according to the latest national dog attack rankings published annually by the USPS.
Incidents ranged from smaller nips and bites to outright attacks, and the annual compilation includes the list of cities in which mail carriers tend to experience the most attacks.
The number 1 city in 2020 was Houston, TX with a total of 73 incidents. Other cities in the top 10 included Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas and Denver.
|LOS ANGELES, CA||54|
|SAN ANTONIO, TX||36|
|SAN DIEGO, CA||35|
In addition to creating safety problems for Postal employees, dog attacks can lead to disruptions in service for customers.
Residents on a street in Salt Lake City, UT have not received their mail for 6 months now because of concerns over a dog roaming loose in the neighborhood which is posing a threat to the mail carrier.
One resident told the Salt Lake Tribune that the dog in question regularly runs free in the neighborhood because its owner refuses to keep it contained. A USPS representative confirmed that mail service has stopped for nine homes on the street because of the situation.
Mail carriers receive training on how to handle aggressive dogs and are also provided with tools to help them on their routes. There is a dog alert feature tool on their handheld scanners to remind them of a possible dog hazard and they use dog warning cards as reminders when they sort their mail for their routes that a dog that may interfere with delivery.
The Postal Service also notes that if if a carrier ultimately feels unsafe, service can be interrupted for not only the dog owner but potentially an entire neighborhood and that mail would then have to be picked up at the post office as was the situation in the neighborhood in Salt Lake City. Service will not be restored until the dog is restrained.