The U.S. Postal Service has released its dog attack city rankings, and unfortunately, Seattle is No. 2 on the list (tied with San Antonio, Texas) with 42 attacks on mail carriers in 2012.
No. 1 is Los Angeles, with 69 attacks.
If your dog is deemed a problem by your mail carrier, you may have to pick up your mail at the Post Office, and if a dog is roaming, the whole neighborhood could be affected.
“Many dogs are cherished members of their family and people believe their dog won’t bite, but given the right circumstances, any dog can attack," said Ken Snavely, acting postmaster of Los Angeles. “Dogs do not reason like people do and they will react to their instinct to protect their family and territory."
Dog attacks are a nationwide issue. Nearly 5,900 letter carriers were attacked last year, but that pales in comparison to the 4.7 million Americans annually bitten by dogs — more than half of whom are children — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The U.S. Postal Service, the medical community, veterinarians and the insurance industry are working together to educate the public that dog bites are avoidable by declaring May 19-25 as National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
- Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
- Don’t run past a dog. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch you.
- If a dog threatens you, don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
- Never approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined.
- Don’t disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
- Anyone wanting to pet a dog should first obtain permission from the owner.
- Always let a dog see and sniff you before petting the animal.
- If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.
- If you are knocked down by a dog, curl into a ball and protect your face with your hands.