San Diego 2nd in dog attacks on mail carriers

Posted at 3:43 PM, May 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-12 18:43:12-04

SAN DIEGO - San Diego is tied for second in the nation when it comes to dogs attacking U.S. Postal Service mail carriers.

According to the USPS, there were 58 letter carriers attacked by dogs in San Diego in 2015, up from 47 the previous year. The city is tied with Cleveland, which also had 58 attacks, up from 37 in 2014.

San Diego and Cleveland ranked behind only Houston, Texas, which had 77 attacks last year, up from 63 in 2014.

"Dogs are protective in nature and may view our letter carriers handing mail to their owner as a threat," USPD Safety Director Linda DeCarlo said.

Chicago and Dallas tied for third with 57 attacks, while Los Angeles ranked fourth with 56 attacks, down from 75 the previous year. Louisville, Kentucky, ranked fifth with 51 attacks last year.

USPS officials said they are taking a pair of steps to improve safety for letter carriers. Beginning Friday, customers who go online to schedule a package pickup at their homes will be asked to indicate if there is a dog at the home, so carriers can be aware an animal is present.

Later this spring, postal carriers will be able to use their Mobile Delivery Devices to note addresses where dogs are present.

The rankings of dog attacks were released Wednesday in conjunction with National Dog Bite Prevention Week. USPS officials urged people to take common-sense steps to protect letter carriers, by keeping dogs in a separate room with a locked door if letter carriers deliver mail to the front door, and reminding children not to take mail directly from letter carriers if a dog is present.

Postal Service officials said that homeowners determined to have threatening animals may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office.