California led the country in 2021 with dog attacks on mail carriers, with Los Angeles ranked fourth among cities, according to the US Postal Service.
Last year, 656 dog bites on mail carriers were registered in the state, nearly 100 more than the state of Texas, which was ranked second, according to the Postal Service. Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan rounded out the top five.
Forty-four of those bites were reported in Los Angeles, which the agency said ranked the city fourth behind Cleveland (58), Houston (54) and Kansas City (48).
In 2021, a total of more than 5,400 postal workers were attacked by dogs.
“From snaps and bites to vicious attacks, aggressive dog behavior poses a serious threat to postal workers and the public,” the postal service said in a press release.
†[We] ask all customers to act responsibly by taking safety precautions with their dogs while mail is being delivered,” said Leeann Theriault, the USPS safety and health awareness manager. “If a courier comes to the property, keep the dog in the house and away from the door — or on a leash behind a fence — to prevent an attack.”
According to the post office, many of the dog attacks took place after owners told the courier that the animal was friendly and wouldn’t bite.
Carriers are trained to “stand their ground” if attacked and to place anything, including their delivery bag, between them and the dog and use dog repellent if necessary.
“Although postal workers ask customers to keep their dogs under control, unfortunately dog bites still happen, which can lead to injuries to our carriers and expensive medical costs for dog owners,” the postal service said.