I never really thought about this, but postal workers making deliveries have a pretty tough job. And the United States Postal Service (USPS) has the numbers to back that up. The USPS has just announced its national dog bite rankings. And Charlotte, NC is on that list of cities with the most dog bites against postal workers.

The USPS is kicking off National Dog Bite Awareness Week. The goal is to bring awareness to aggressive dog behavior to mail carriers. For example, last year California has the highest number of dog bites with 675. Not far behind were Texas and New York with 404 and 321 bites, respectively.

The analysis also shows more than 5,300 USPS employees were attacked by dogs while making mail deliveries last year. The good news, according to the USPS news release, is that the mail carriers are usually bitten by a ‘good dog’ that had NOT behaved poorly in previous interactions.

Part of the public service awareness campaign includes the hashtag #dogbiteawareness. The campaign runs through next week. (June 12)

What Dog Owners Need To Know

Mail carriers understand that dogs are generally protective of their turf and dog owners. However, the USPS says that does not excuse dog owners from the responsibility to control their pet and to ensure mail can be delivered safely.

The USPS offers these tips to avoid potentially dog attacks. Most people know the approximate time their letter carrier arrives every day. Securing your dog before the carrier approaches your property will minimize any potentially dangerous interactions.

When a letter carrier comes to your home, keep dogs:

  • Inside the house or behind a fence;
  • Away from the door or in another room; or
  • On a leash.

Pet owners also should remind children not to take mail directly from a letter carrier as the dog may view the carrier as a threat to the child.

Letter Carrier Training

While dog owners have a responsibility to create a safe environment for letter carriers who approach their home, the letter carriers have responsibilities to stay safe, too. Many postal mail carriers are trained before ‘going into the field.’  One of the first rules they are taught is to ‘be alert’. The second rule is to respect a dog’s territory.

Letter carriers are also trained to:

  • Not startle a dog;
  • Keep their eyes on any dog;
  • Never assume a dog will not bite;
  • Make some noise or rattle a fence to alert a dog if entering a yard;
  • Never attempt to pet or feed a dog; and
  • Place their foot against an outward swinging door to prevent a dog from escaping.

These rules are considered best practices to help stop dog attacks and protect the mail carrier.

Carriers are equipped to alert them of potential aggressive dogs. There is a dog alert feature on carriers’ handheld scanners that can remind carriers of a possible dog hazard. There are also dog warning cards that can be used during mail sorting to alert carriers of potentially dangerous routes.

And finally, if a carrier feels unsafe, mail service could be stopped. And stopped not only for the dog owner, but for the entire neighborhood. When mail service is stopped, mail has to be picked up at the Post Office. Service will not be restored until the aggressive dog is properly restrained.

Below are some of the national rankings of dog attacks by city and state.

  • Houston, TX

    We Love Our Furry Friends

    Last year, the city had 57 dog attacks to postal mail carriers.

  • Los Angeles, CA

    PETA live mascot

    California had the highest number of dog bites last year with 675 bites. Among attacks on mail carriers, there were 48 dog attacks.

  • Dallas, TX

    Puppies In Puppy Bowl XVIII

    The dog attacks are pretty rampant here, too with 44 bites last year.


  • Cleveland, OH


    Great Pyrenees

    There were 43 mail carriers attacked by dogs last year. The Postal Service also advises parents to not allow children to take mail directly from mail carriers. The dog may view it as a threat to the child’s safety and attack.

  • Chicago, IL

    Small dog

    The Windy City has the cold, the heat and dogs who bite. The Postal Service recorded 36 dog attacks last year.


  • Philadelphia, PA (#11)


    City of Brotherly Love not so ‘brotherly.’ The USPS says some 28 dog attacks happened last year.

  • Milwaukee, WI (#14)

    Puppies In Puppy Bowl XVIII
    Milwaukee joins two other cities with the same number of mail carrier dog attacks – 14.

  • Charlotte, NC (#15)

    popular dog breeds North Carolina

    The Queen City ties with Miami and Indianapolis for 21 mail carrier dog attacks.

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