The post Dog attacks of USA postal workers highest in three decades appeared first on PBS NewsHour. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) released its annual ranking of top dog attack cities today, highlighted safety initiatives to help protect its employees and offered tips to pet owners.
Los Angeles tops US cities, with more than 80 dog attacks in 2016.
A total 6,755 USA postal employees were attacked by dogs in 2016, according to the Postal Service. "Any dog can bite and all attacks are preventable through responsible pet ownership".
About 4.5 million Americans are bitten annually, predominantly children, according to the postal service.
FILE - In this February 7, 2013 file photo, a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier delivers mail in the rain in, in Atlanta. "There is also possible liability for the pet owner for the victim's pain, suffering and medical expenses".
"Dogs may view the letter carrier handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture", the USPS said.
Children are especially at risk; the CDC reports that the rate of dog-bite related injuries are highest for those between ages 5 and 9. And dog attacks can be catastrophic. The survey was released Thursday as part National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which begins Sunday.
To prevent attacks, USPS encourages customers to put dogs in separate rooms and close the door when carriers arrive, remind family members to refrain from taking mail from carriers in the presence of dogs and to pick up their mail at their local post office if the carrier feels threatened by their pet.
Please Note: For broadcast quality video and audio, photo stills and other media resources, visit the USPS Newsroom. The system can even tell a carrier when a dog has gotten loose, and, therefore, could pose a threat. Larger cities have a denser population and more pets, which means more attacks, he said. Officially, 2 percent of carriers were bitten previous year, but Solomon says every carrier he knows has some kind of "dog experience" to tell, from outrunning to cajoling a territorial pet.
Robert Lieb, a professor of supply chain management at Northeastern University, said he expects dog attacks to keep increasing.