San Diego is far from America’s finest city for letter carriers, with dog attacks increasing and the city ranked second last year in total attacks.
The U.S. Postal Service announced Thursday that 6,549 employees were attacked by dogs in 2015 as it released its annual dog-attack rankings.
“Dogs are protective in nature and may view our letter carriers handing mail to their owner as a threat,” said USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo at a news conference in Houston, where postal employees suffered 77 attacks, more than any other city.
San Diego tied with Cleveland for second place with 58 attacks, up 23 percent from 2014. Los Angeles was ranked fourth with 56 attacks. No other California cities were in the top 10.
The postal service offers these tips to protect carriers from dogs:
- If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
- Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.
- If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained.
Letter carriers aren’t alone. Some 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs annually, with half of all victims children.
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