USPS: Ohio ranks No. 5 for most dog bites | Barky Supplies Expert Tips

USPS: Ohio ranks No. 5 for most dog bites

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio ranked as No. 5 in the country for the most dog bites on mail carriers in 2022.

The United States Postal Service said in a release that more than 5,300 of their employees were attacked by dogs while they were delivering the mail last year. 

As part of its annual National Dog Bite Awareness Week public service campaign, the postal service has provided tips for dog owners on how to ensure safe mail delivery. This year’s campaign theme is: “Even good dogs have bad days.”

“When letter carriers deliver mail in our communities, dogs that are not secured or leashed can become a nemesis and unpredictable and attack,” said Leeann Theriault, USPS employee safety and health awareness manager. “Help us deliver your mail safely by keeping your dog secure and out of the way before your carrier arrives.” 

A step pet owners can take to help protect the mail carrier from a potential dog bite is securing dogs before the mail carrier stops by to drop off any packages. 

USPS says if a carrier comes to your home, keep dogs: 

  • Inside the house or behind a fence;
  • Away from the door or in another room; or
  • On a leash.     

Owners are also asked to remind children not to take any mail from the carrier directly because animals may view the carrier as a threat. 

“When our mail carriers are bitten, it is usually a ‘good dog’ that had not previously behaved in a menacing way,” said USPS Occupational Safety and Health Senior Director Linda DeCarlo. “In 2022, too many aggressive dogs impacted the lives of our employees while delivering the mail. Please help us reduce that number by being a responsible pet owner who secures their dog as we deliver the mail.” 

In addition to the attentiveness of pet owners, mail carriers are also trained to observe an area where dogs may be present. During training, carriers are told to be alert to potentially dangerous situations and respect the territory of dogs. 

According to USPS, letter carriers are trained to:

  • Not startle a dog;
  • Keep their eyes on any dog;
  • Never assume a dog will not bite;
  • Make some noise or rattle a fence to alert a dog if entering a yard;
  • Never attempt to pet or feed a dog; and
  • place their foot against an outward swinging door to prevent a dog from escaping.

If mail carriers are met with a dog attack, they are trained to stand their ground and protect their body by putting an object between themselves and the dog. 

One of the tools available to help mail carriers is a dog alert feature on carriers’ handheld scanners that remind them of a possible hazard. 

If at any time a mail carrier feels unsafe, USPS says mail service could be stopped and letters must be picked up at the post office. Regular service would not be continued until the aggressive dog is restrained.

The full list of dog attacks rankings by cities in 2022 is as follows:

  1. Houston, Texas – 57
  2. Los Angeles, California – 48
  3. Dallas, Texas – 44
  4. Cleveland, Ohio – 43
  5. San Diego, California – 39
  6. Chicago, Illinois – 36
  7. St. Louis, Missouri – 34
  8. Kansas City, Missouri – 33
  9. Phoenix, Arizona – 32
  10. San Antonio, Texas – 32
  11. Detroit, Michigan – 30
  12. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 28
  13. Louisville, Kentucky – 26
  14. Columbus, Ohio – 23
  15. Minneapolis, Minnesota – 22 

The states with the most dog bites are listed below:

  1.  California [2021 – 656], [2022 – 675]
  2.  Texas [2021 – 368], [2022 – 404]
  3.  New York [2021 – 239], [2022 – 321]
  4.  Pennsylvania [2021 – 281], [2022 – 313] 
  5.  Ohio [2021 – 359], [2022 – 311]
  6.  Illinois [2021 – 226], [2022 – 245]
  7.  Florida [2021 – 201], [2022 – 220]
  8.  Michigan [2021 – 244], [2022 – 206]
  9.  Missouri [2021 – 161], [2022 – 166]
  10.  North Carolina [2021 – 126], [2022 – 146]

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