USPS just ranked a Kentucky city among top 20 in US for dog attacks on mail carriers

Dog attacks on U.S. Postal Service workers rose to nearly 6,000 cases last year, and Louisville is among the top 20 cities in the country for attacks on mail carriers.

That’s the takeaway from a recent report from the U.S. Postal Service, which shows Louisville outpaced much larger cities, such as San Francisco and Denver. Each attack can potentially cost the carrier thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other costs, the USPS report said.

Attacks most often occur when dogs are left unsecured at mail delivery time, which is why the USPS has launched a public awareness campaign aimed at encouraging dog owners to be more responsible.

How does Louisville compare to the rest of the country?

According to the USPS, there were 28 dog attacks on postal service employees in the city in 2023. That puts Louisville at No. 14 among the top 20 cities in the U.S. with the most attacks.

Louisville was the only Kentucky city to make the top 20 ranking.

Cities like Denver (21 attacks), San Francisco (20) and Detroit (19) fell much further down the list. Some cities on the list reported the same amount of dog attacks, and were assigned the same ranking, according to the USPS.

The top 10 cities are also follows:

  1. Los Angeles: 65

  2. Houston: 56

  3. Chicago: 48

  4. St. Louis: 46

  5. Cleveland: 44

  6. San Diego: 41

  7. Dallas: 39

  8. Cincinnati: 38

  9. Philadelphia: 34

  10. Columbus, Ohio: 33

The top 10 states for dog attacks on mail carriers are as follows:

  1. California: 727

  2. Texas: 411

  3. Ohio: 359

  4. Pennsylvania: 334

  5. Illinois: 316

  6. New York: 296

  7. Florida: 193

  8. North Carolina: 185

  9. Michigan: 183

  10. Missouri: 180

What can dog owners do to avoid attacks on mail carriers?

If your dog makes a mail carrier feel unsafe, USPS may pause mail service to your home until the carrier feels safe enough to restart delivery. You would have to pick up your mail at the post office until then.

If the dog issue isn’t resolved, you can be required to rent a post office box to receive mail, the USPS reports.

To cut down on the risk of accidental dog attacks on delivery workers, the USPS recommends taking the following steps:

  • Know your delivery time. Take note of when your mail typically arrives and make sure to secure your dog at that time.

  • Consider using informed delivery so you know when to expect a mail carrier around your home.

  • Keep your dog inside your house or within a fence and away from doors.

  • When you’re collecting the mail, make sure your dog is secure in another room or on a leash so it can’t push through the door and attack or bite the carrier.

  • Remind your children not to take mail directly from a carrier. Dogs may perceive that as a threat and become aggressive.

Do you have a question about public services in Kentucky for our service journalism team? Send us an email at ask@herald-leader.com or fill out our Know Your Kentucky form.

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