TAMPA, Fla. — Florida recently found itself ranked on a list of the top 10 states in the U.S. where postal workers get bit by dogs.
According to a news release from the United States Postal Service, more than 5,300 employees were attacked by dogs while delivering the mail in 2022. And the mail company says aggressive dog behavior is a common safety concern that employees face.
In a list of the top 10 states with the most dog bites, the Sunshine State came in at 201 bites in 2021 and 220 bites in 2022.
Other states that found themselves ranked on the list include:
- California: 656 in 2021 and 675 in 2022
- Texas: 368 in 2021 and 404 in 2022
- New York: 239 in 2021 and 321 in 2022
- Pennsylvania: 281 in 2021 and 313 in 2022
- Ohio: 359 in 2021 and 311 in 2022
- Illinois: 226 in 2021 and 245 in 2022
- Michigan: 244 in 2021 and 206 in 2022
- Missouri: 161 in 2021 and 166 in 2022
- North Carolina: 126 in 2021 and 146 in 2022
“When letter carriers deliver mail in our communities, dogs that are not secured or leashed can become a nemesis and unpredictable and attack,” Leeann Theriault, USPS employee safety and health awareness manager, said in a statement. “Help us deliver your mail safely by keeping your dog secure and out of the way before your carrier arrives.”
Along with the list of dog bites, two Florida cities made it onto a list of the top 20 ranking cities of dog attacks in 2022.
Miami came in at No. 15 with 21 attacks and Jacksonville came in at No. 20 with 16 attacks. Houston came in at No. 1 with 57 attacks.
With this problem, USPS says mail carriers know all dogs can bite, even the ones perceived as nonaggressive. But some precautions pet owners can take when mail is being dropped off, include:
- Keep dogs inside the house or behind a fence
- Move them away from the door or into another room
- Keep your dog on a leash
"Pet owners also should remind children not to take mail directly from a letter carrier as the dog may view the postal employee as a threat to the child," leaders from the company explain in the release.
Informed Delivery, a free USPS service, allows customers to digitally preview incoming mail and packages from a computer, tablet or mobile device. More than 52 million customers have enrolled since it was launched back in 2017.
Anyone interested can sign-up at informeddelivery.usps.com.
“When our mail carriers are bitten, it is usually a ‘good dog’ that had not previously behaved in a menacing way,” USPS Occupational Safety and Health Senior Director Linda DeCarlo said in a statement. “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.”