The Post Office is having a pretty tough time these days, what with running billion dollar deficits, worries over funding employee pensions, dropping Saturday mail delivery, then having that reversed by Congress.
But one of the oldest problems for postal workers still rears its ugly head. Well, sometimes it might be a pretty cute head.
In advance of National Dog Bite Awareness Week, the U.S. Postal Service has released its list of cities with the most dog attacks. Here are the top 10 along with the number of documented attacks:
1. Los Angeles, 69
2. San Antonio, 42
3. Seattle, 42
4. Chicago, 41
5. San Francisco, 38
6. Philadelphia, 34
7. Detroit, 33
8. St. Louis, 32
9. Baltimore, 29
10. Sacramento, 29
While as a dog owner, the worst case scenario would be to have your dog seriously injure, or God forbid kill someone, there is another much less serious, inconvenient consequence.
“If your letter carriers deem your loose dog to be a threat, you’ll be asked to pick up your mail at the post office until it’s safe to deliver,” said acting Los Angeles postmaster Ken Snavely.
Last year, close to 5,900 letter carriers were attacked. The problem is at a much larger scale when you look at the population as a whole. Nearly five million Americans are bit by dogs every year. What’s worse, half of those are children.
While dogs can be provoked, often unintentionally, the report gives a few simple tips for dog owners:
- Obedience training teaches your dog proper behavior and can help you control them in potentially hostile situations.
- Dogs can be protective and territorial, which means they may interpret the actions of letter carriers as a threat. As such, take precautions when accepting mail from them with your dog present. When a letter carrier comes to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door, in another room, or on a leash.
- Treat your dogs the way they need to be treated, or you may be creating a hostile animal. Make sure are socialized correctly, get enough attention, and are not left tied-up for long periods of time.