The Postal Service recently released its dog attack city rankings, urging pet owners to help reduce the incidence of dog bites and attacks to mail delivery persons. According to postmaster representative Ken Snavely, postal workers now have the option of deeming dogs to be a threat, resulting in their inability to hand deliver mail to the owner’s home. If a letter carrier names a dog to be threatening, the home owner will be forced to pick up his or her mail at their local Post Office, until it is safe to deliver to the home again. Snavely, who works as post master in Los Angeles, says that 69 postal employees were viciously attacked last year, placing L.A. as the top dog attack city in the United States. Nationwide, around 6,000 postal employees and letter carriers were attacked by dogs on the job last year. According to the Postal Service, the most startling thing about these increased dog attack numbers is that they are avoidable. Dog owners can and should be taking the proper precautions to not only train their dogs appropriately, but also to restrain and confine them as needed.
In a recent statement, Snavely noted that in situations where a dog or a pack of dogs roams the neighborhood, delivery to the owner’s neighbors could be curtailed as well. Also, when letter carriers come to a home owner’s door, they are asking that all pets are placed in a seperate room with a closed door or containing gate, as many canines have been known to jump through both screen and glass doors.
General dog attacks are a nationwide problem, and not just an issue for postal carriers. Sure, nearly 6,000 Postal Service workers were attacked by dogs last year, but that number pales in comparison to the 4.7 million American citizens who are attacked by dogs annually. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this statistic is even more tragic when dissected, as more than half of these dog bite victims are young children. Fortunately, the United States Postal Service, the medical community, veterinarians and the insurance industry are working together to educate the general public that dog bites are avoidable. The organizations are focusing on proper dog training, containment, and maintenance, as well as appropriate dog handling technique classes.
Of course, most dogs are cherished members of their owner’s family. Obviously, many owners believe their dog won’t bite, but given the right circumstances, any dog can attack. According to Snavely, dogs of any breed and caliber can attack on a dime, due to instincts to protect their family and territory. The Postal Service, in partnership with animal behavior experts, developed tips to avoid dog attacks, along with tips for practicing responsible pet ownership.
Responsible Dog Ownership
- Strict obedience training course completion can teach dogs proper behavior, and can help owners to control their dogs in any situation. Obedience training can teach dogs proper behavior and help owners control their dogs in most any situation.
- It is important to know and understand that dogs can be protective of their territory and may interpret the actions of a letter carrier as a threat. Always take precautions when accepting mail in the presence of a pet.
- When a postal service worker, or any stranger for that matter, comes to your home, keep the dog away. It is best if the dog is contained inside another room, away from a door, or at the very least, on a tight leash.
- It is important that owners realize that dogs that have not been properly socialized, or have not received adequate attention or handling, typically turn into biters. These traits can also be genetic, or developed at random by a canine. The moral here, is not to be naive as a dog owner, and to take all precautions when introducing the dog to a stranger.
Top 7 Dog Bite Cities According to the U.S. Postal Service
These numbers were drawn from the most currently available data (2012 fiscal year) from the United States Postal Service.
- Los Angeles, California (69 attacks)
- San Antonio, Texas & Seattle, Washington (42 attacks)
- Chicago, Illinois (41 attacks)
- San Francisco, California (38 attacks)
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (34 attacks)
- Detroit, Michigan (33 attacks)
- St. Louis, Missouri (32 attacks)
Missouri Dog Bite Lawyers
Obviously, dog bites are a tremendous issue, affecting far more individuals than just Postal Service workers. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries from a Missouri dog bite, in any county, it is in your best interest to contact a St. Louis dog bite lawyer. To discuss the ways in which Missouri dog bite and leash laws fit into your particular case, call us today at 314.409.7060 for an absolutely FREE dog bite consultation. You won’t regret putting us to work for you, while you simply focus on recovering.