The United States Postal Office released a chart ranking individual cities and states in dog attacks for the year 2020. This is not the first time the USPS released such a chart – as such, they have numbers of dog attacks available for both the top 25 cities and the top 10 states. While it’s certainly not a ranking a state should be proud of, it’s interesting to see which states have the most (reported) dog attacks on postal workers this past year – and which states have had the most dog attacks reported since the ranking system began to be tabulated.
The reason this listing is made public by the USPS is to make citizens of the United States aware of the dangers of dog interaction with postal workers. A dog doesn’t need to be a BAD dog to have a violent encounter with a postal worker – they could be a GREAT dog defending their family from what they perceive as a threat.
As the USPS suggested in their dog promotion: Dog bites are entirely preventable, and “one bite is too many.” To avoid negative interactions, the USPS recommends that, when a letter carrier comes to deliver the mail, dogs should be inside the house or behind a fence, “away from the door or in another room,” and/or on a leash.
For the year 2020, the number 1 city for reported dog attacks on USPS employees was Houston, Texas. Houston had a total of 73 attacks in the year 2020. The next entry on the list was Chicago with 59 attacks, followed by Los Angeles with 54. Cleveland had 46, Denver had 44, Baltimore had 43.
Number 7 on the list for 2020 was Columbus, OH, with 37 attacks. San Antonio, TX had 36, San Diego, CA had 35, tied with Detroit for 10th place. The rest of the list was pretty close, with between 13 and 34 attacks in the year 2020.
The ranking went as follows: Louisville, St. Louis, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Jacksonville, Minneapolis, Toledo, Miami, Long Beach, and Albuquerque. Next was Shawnee Mission (KS), Charlotte (NC), Dayton, Canton, New Orleans, Omaha, Fort Worth, Wichita, Memphis, Richmond, Flint, Tulsa, San Francisco, Rockford, Syracuse, Arlington, Jamaica (NY), Rochester (NY), Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, and Seattle. The last 5 entries were tied for 25th place with 13 bites.
The top 10 dog bite states for the year 2020 started with California, with 782 attacks. Texas was second with 402 attacks in 2020, then Ohio with 369. The rest of the list went as follows: NY (295), PA (291), IL (290), MI (253), FL (198), NJ (179), and VA (169). About half the states on the top list had attack rates go down, somewhat, from 2019 to 2020. California went up – as did IL, MI, NJ, and VA.
ALSO NOTE: One of the most important tips the USPS has for families with kids, is the following. “Pet owners should remind their children not to take mail directly from a letter carrier as the dog may view the carrier as a threat.”