In the spirit of National Dog Bite Prevention Week the U.S. Postal Service Wednesday released a list of the Top 30 cities for dog bites on postal workers.
The postal service said 5,581 postal employees were victims of dog attacks last year, including 45 in Dallas and 26 in Fort Worth.
Dallas ranked 7th in the nation for dog attacks on postal workers while Fort Worth tied for 16th with Cincinnati and San Jose, California. Elsewhere in Texas, Houston was at the top of the list with 63 attacks; San Antonio ranked 19th with 22 attacks; Austin was 26th with 15 attacks and El Paso was 27th with 14 attacks.
The ranking was compiled and published as part of a larger push to educate the public that dog bites are preventable — this is repeated with the declaration of May 18-24 as National Dog Bite Prevention Week. The U.S. Postal Service, the medical community, veterinarians and the insurance industry are all a part of the awareness campaign.
"There's a myth we often hear at the Postal Service," said Postal Service Manager of Safety Linda DeCarlo. "Don't worry — my dog won't bite. Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Any dog can bite and all attacks are preventable through responsible pet ownership."
The postal service went on to say that 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, half of whom are children according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
DeCarlo encourages the news media to share the following tips when reporting on this critical issue — so here you go.
- If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog into a separate room and close the door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
- Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may see handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.
- The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. 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. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner's neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well.