Seattle Listed as Second-Worst City for Dog Attacks on Mail Carriers

Mail Carrier Dog Attacks

In a recently published press release, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced that Seattle was tied with San Antonio for the second-worst city in the country based on the frequency of dog attacks on mail carriers in 2012.

The agency released its rankings report for the top cities in the country for the number of dog attacks in 2012 on May 15, in conjunction with National Dog Bite Prevention Week which takes place May 19-25.

Los Angeles came in as the top city for dog bites to postal workers last year, with a total of 69 attacks.

USPS Reports Dog Attack Statistics

According to an official news release from the agency, there were a total of 5,879 dog attacks to postal employees in the nation during 2012. The agency also cited the total number of dog bites each year in the United States – approximately 4.7 million – as a sign that dog attacks are not just a problem for the postal worker industry.

“Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem,” reads the news release. “The U.S. Postal Service, the medical community, veterinarians and the insurance industry are working together to educate the public that dog bites are avoidable by declaring May 19-25 as National Dog Bite Prevention Week.”

The agency’s full breakdown of the top 20 cities for dog attacks on postal workers is shown in the image below:

Here are a number of ways that people can be proactive and reduce their chances of being attacked by a dog. The USPS included the following tips for avoiding injuries from dog bites during National Dog Bite Prevention Week:

  • A dog’s natural instinct is to chase you: Do not run or initiate sudden movements around a dog.
  • If a dog appears aggressive or threatening, do not scream or run away. Avoid eye contact and remain still until the dog calms down or walks away.
  • Never approach a strange dog, especially one that is tied up or confined. In many cases, a dog may be tied up or confined because it is aggressive or unsafe.
  • Dogs are territorial animals and are especially protective when they are eating, sleeping and caring for puppies. Do not disturb a dog during these times as the risk of being attacked is significantly higher when a dog is feeling vulnerable.
  • If you believe you are about to be attacked by a dog, try to use an object (i.e. a bicycle or backpack) as a physical barrier between you and the animal.

Young Children and Dog Attacks

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), a majority of dog bites to young children involve a familiar dog during normal, everyday activities. This statistic alone highlights the necessity for monitoring young children who may not understand the risks of being attacked by the pet of a family member or friend.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, a sponsor of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, reminds parents of the importance of never leaving young children unsupervised around dogs – even if the dog is familiar to the family. Recently in Atlanta, a young child was killed after he was left unattended with the family’s pit bull. The two-year-old boy’s parents briefly left him alone with the dog and the boy died from injuries he sustained in the attack.

More Resources:

For more information about dog bites and how to prevent them, visit some of the following organizations online at the links provided below.

Click here for the original press release from the United States Postal Service.

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Humane Association

American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery

American Veterinary Medical Association

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