***Related video above: USPS using sticker system to reduce dog bites***
(WKBN) — The U.S. Postal Service has released the national rankings for dog bites across the U.S., and Ohio is ranked in the top five.
More than 5,300 Postal Service employees were attacked by dogs while delivering the mail last year.
The following details the number of dog attacks by Ohio city in 2022:
- Cleveland ranked 4th with 43 incidents
- Columbus ranked 13th with 23
- Cincinnati ranked 14th with 22
- Toledo ranked 16th with 20
- Akron ranked 17th with 19
- Dayton ranked 18th with 18
Houston, Texas ranked No. 1 with the number of dog bite incidents in 2022, with a total of 57. It was followed by Los Angeles with 48 and Dallas with 44.
Ohio ranked 5th place in the U.S. for the number of dog bites in the state for both 2021 and 2022 with 259 and 311 cases, respectively. Pennsylvania ranked fourth with 281 and 313. The top three states for dog bite incidents were California, Texas and New York.
For the complete list of dog bite statistics, visit USPS.com.
Aggressive dog behavior is a common safety concern USPS employees face. To keep its workers safe, the organization is providing important information on how dog owners can be good stewards for safe mail delivery as part of its annual National Dog Bite Awareness Week public service campaign.
This year’s campaign runs June 4-10 with the theme “Even good dogs have bad days.”
“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.”
Many attacks reported by letter carriers came from dogs whose owners regularly stated, “My dog won’t bite.”
USPS recommends keeping dogs inside the house, behind a fence or on a leash around the time the mailperson typically comes.
If a dog attacks, carriers are trained to stand their ground and protect their body by placing something between them and the dog — such as a mail satchel — and to use dog repellent, if necessary.
Carriers have tools to alert them to dogs on their routes. A dog alert feature on carriers’ handheld scanners can remind them of a possible dog hazard, and dog warning cards may be used during mail sorting to alert carriers to routes where a dog may interfere with delivery.
If a carrier feels unsafe, mail service could be halted — not only for the dog owner but for the entire neighborhood. When mail service is stopped, mail must be picked up at the Post Office. Service will not be restored until the aggressive dog is properly restrained.