Cleveland Letter Carriers Suffer the Most Dog Attacks in Ohio

14946491-mailmanMost of us would consider the family dog a friend, not an occupational hazard. But for postal workers around the country, the “dog bites mailman” trope is truly a big safety threat. Nationwide, dogs attacked 5,767 postal employees last year.

The United States Post Office has released its worst 30 cities for dog attacks — and Cleveland is one of them. In fact, with 37 dog attacks on mail carriers in 2014 alone, Cleveland ranks eighth worst in the country.

USPS 2014 Dog Attack Rankings by City

Ranking City, State 2014 Dog Attacks
1 Los Angeles, CA 74
2 Houston, TX 62
3 San Diego, CA 47
4 Chicago, IL 45
5 Dallas, TX 43
6 Denver, CO
Louisville, KY
7 St Louis, MO 38
8 Cleveland, OH 37
9 Phoenix, AZ 35
10 Minneapolis, MN
Philadelphia, PA

Cleveland isn’t the only Ohio city on the top 30 list. Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Akron, and Toledo also made the ranks. The problem is widespread and getting worse.

How Can You Help?

The USPS announcement kicked off National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which I mentioned last month along with tips for preventing dog attacks. To add to that list, here are some specific ways you can protect your postal worker:

  • If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Dogs sometimes burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
  • Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.
  • The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the postal service may ask the owner to pick up the mail at the Post Office until the carrier is sure the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the postal service may ask the pet owner’s neighbors to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well.

Take Action

These safety tips don’t apply only to letter carriers. How about when you or your child knock on a neighbor’s door to drop something off or for a play date? Or if your son or daughter is collecting or selling for a scouts troop or baseball team? When traveling around the neighborhood or answering your door for any reason, keep these tips in mind.

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, whether on the job or not, please give me a call for a free legal consultation.