Public Safety

Fang mail: Pennsylvania ranked fourth among states in the number of dog attacks on postal workers

USPS report shows more than 5,4000 mail carriers nationwide were wounded by canines last year.

A postal worker makes his rounds.

A postal worker makes his rounds. Mick Haupt, Unsplash

By Jean Dimeo

More than 5,400 postal employees were attacked by dogs across the nation in 2021, with California leading the way as the state with the most canine-related injuries, according to the U.S. Postal Service. “From nips and bites to vicious attacks, aggressive dog behavior poses a serious threat to postal employees and the public,” the USPS said in a statement. 

Carriers have had more interaction with canines – thus more opportunities for attacks – since the beginning of the pandemic because of the higher volume of home deliveries, according to the USPS blog. Nevertheless, the total number of dog attacks was down from 2020 – 5,800 were reported that year, according to a USPS press release.

In 2021, Cleveland, Ohio had the most-reported dog bites (58), followed by Houston, Texas (54), Kansas City, Kansas (48), Los Angeles, California (44), Louisville, Kentucky (42), Dallas, Texas (48), St. Louis, Missouri (36), Chicago, Illinois (35), Detroit, Michigan (34) and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (32). (Not all cities and towns nationwide, though, report the number of USPS carriers bitten by dogs.)

Here are the top states for postal carrier dog bites last year:

State                     2020    2021

California              787     656

Texas                    410     368

Ohio                      369     359

Pennsylvania       296     281

Michigan              253     244

New York              294    239

Illinois                  289     226

Florida                 199     201

Washington        122     139

Kentucky            121     123

The top 25 states include dog attack reports from 32 cities. For information about how many postal workers were attacked by dogs in your city or town, click here

A version of this story originally appeared on Route Fifty

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