There were a total of over 5,400 incidents of dogs attacking postal workers in the United States in 2021 – equal to about one attack for every 46 city and rural mail carrier. These incidents range from nips and bites to vicious attacks – and each of them was entirely preventable.
According to the U.S. Postal Service, many mail carriers bitten on the job were attacked by dogs whose owners had regularly stated “My dog won’t bite.” Indeed, animal behavior can be unpredictable, and responsible dog owners should take steps to ensure their pets do not put postal workers in any danger.
Dogs are territorial and instinctively protective, and could perceive a postal worker making the rounds as a threat. Therefore, it is important for dog owners to confine their pets when mail is being delivered, whether in the house, behind a fence, or on a leash. (Here is a look at the hardest dog breeds to train.)
Mail carriers are also trained to reduce the risk of a dangerous encounter. They know to avoid startling a dog, to never feed or pet a dog, and to assume any dog is capable of biting.
Last year California had the most reported incidents of dogs attacking postal workers at 656, followed by Texas at 368 and Ohio at 359. Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York, Illinois, and Florida each had over 200 incidents. It’s clear why delivering mail might be considered one of the most dangerous jobs in America.
Just as incidents of dog attacks on mail carriers vary by state, they also vary from city to city. Using data from the USPS, 24/7 Wall St. identified the cities with the most dog attacks on postal workers. Though Ohio had fewer overall bites that Texas or California, Cleveland was the individual city with the most incidents.
The places on this list are ranked by the number of dog attack incidents reported in 2021. In case of a tie, the city with the smaller population ranked higher.
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