Postal Service lists top dog attack cities - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Postal Service lists top dog attack cities

(Source: U.S. Postal Service) (Source: U.S. Postal Service)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Postal Service released statistics Thursday highlighting the cities where the most dog attacks occur nationwide.

Houston tops the list with 62 letter carriers attacked in 2010. Nationwide last year, 5,669 postal employees were attacked in more than 1,400 cities, yet that pales in comparison to the 4.7 million Americans bitten annually - the majority of whom are children.

These statistics are part of the reason the Postal Service recognizes National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 15-21. The annual event provides dog attack prevention tips and information on responsible pet ownership.

Beyond the needless pain and suffering, medical expenses from dog attacks cost the Postal Service nearly $1.2 million last year. According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog attacks accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners' insurance liability claims paid out in 2010, costing nearly $413 million.

Visit this link to view the top 25 rankings.

"We often hear two comments relating to the Postal Service, 'the check's in the mail,' and 'don't worry, my dog won't bite'. Given the right circumstances, any dog can bite. Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem," said Matthew Lopez, Houston Postmaster. "Working with animal behavior experts, we've developed tips to avoid dog attacks, and for dog owners, tips for practicing responsible pet ownership."@

The American Veterinary Medical Association offers the following tips:

How to Avoid Being Bitten

· 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.

· Don't approach a strange dog, especially one that's tethered or confined.

· People choosing to pet dogs should obtain permission from the owner first and always let a dog see and sniff them 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.

How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner

· When a carrier comes to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door in another room.

· Dogs can be protective of their territory and may interpret the actions of letter carriers as a threat. Please take precautions when accepting mail in the presence of your pet.

· Spay or neuter your dog. Neutered dogs are less likely to roam and bite.

· Dogs that receive little attention or handling, or are left tied up for long periods of time, frequently turn into biters.

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