WASHINGTON , May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As a prelude to a news conference tomorrow to kick-off National Dog Bite Prevention Week, the U.S. Postal Service released its top 30 dog attack city rankings and offered tips to reduce dog attacks to letter carriers. Nationwide, 5,581 postal employees were attacked last year.
Tomorrow’s 10:30 a.m. ET, event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, will include letter carriers recounting their dog attacks and feature pit bull therapy dog Elle, the American Humane Association’s 2013 Hero Dog of the Year. Veterinarians and representatives of the medical community will provide tips on dog attack prevention and responsible pet ownership. Representatives from the insurance industry will discuss dog bite claims and homeowner liability. Internationally-renowned dog trainer, author, and television personality Victoria Stilwell and Kelly Voigt, a dog attack victim, will join Elle and her handlerLeah Brewer in a dog safety demonstration.
“There’s a myth we often hear at the Postal Service,” said Postal Service Manager of Safety Linda DeCarlo. “Don’t worry — my dog won’t bite. Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Any dog can bite and all attacks are preventable through responsible pet ownership.”
Nationwide, 5,581 postal employees were attacked last year. Yet of the 4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs annually — half are children — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 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 18-24 as National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
DeCarlo encourages the news media to share the following tips when reporting on this critical issue.
- If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog into a separate room and close the door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
- Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may see handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.
- The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well.
2013 Dog Attack Rankings by City
(Note: A total of 5,581 postal employees were attacked by dogs in 2013. Sixty two cities comprise the top 30 rankings as some cities reported the same number of attacks.)
|2||LOS ANGELES, CA||61|
|4||SAN DIEGO, CA||53|
|10||KANSAS CITY, MO||33|
|ST LOUIS, MO|
|FORT WORTH, TX|
|SAN JOSE, CA|
|LONG BEACH, CA|
|SAN ANTONIO, TX|
|OKLAHOMA CITY, OK|
|SAN FRANCISCO, CA|
|27||BATON ROUGE, LA||14|
|EL PASO, TX|
|FORT WAYNE, IN|
|LAS VEGAS, NV|
|NEW ORLEANS, LA|
|VAN NUYS, CA|
|SAN JUAN, PR|
|30||CEDAR RAPIDS, IA||11|
|DES MOINES, IA|
|SALT LAKE CITY, UT|
|SANTA ANA, CA|
The Postal Service; the American Humane Association (AHA) americanhumane.org, the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM), microsurg.org; the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), avma.org; the Insurance Information Institute (III), iii.org; State Farm Insurance, statefarm.com; and Prevent The Bite (PTB), preventthebite.org, are driving home the message that dog bites are a nationwide issue and that education can help prevent dog attacks to people of all ages.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
SOURCE U.S. Postal Service