The number of dog attacks on United States Postal Service workers rose to a record high in 2016, with 6,755 dog attacks across the country. That is an increase of over 200 dog bites from 2015.
Many of these attacks happened in Southern California. Los Angeles recorded the most dog attacks on postal workers, with 80 dog bites in 2016. San Diego was also in the top five cities with the most USPS worker dog bites, recording 57 dog bites in the last year.
The escalation of dog bites coincides with trends in online shopping. Many consumers are turning to online retailers, such as Amazon, for household goods that up until recently would have been purchased in-store. As more people shop online, the number of home deliveries also increases, and so does the risk of dog bites.
The USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo said, “Even good dogs have bad days. Dog bite prevention training and continuing education are important to keep pet owners, pets and those who visit homes — like letter carriers — happy and healthy.”
The presence of a postal worker, though benign, may be viewed as threatening to a dog. To prevent more dog bites from occurring, dog owners should:
• Notify the U.S. Postal Service online if a dog is in the home.
• Relocate their pets to another room prior to opening the door to receive mail.
• Never take mail from a postal worker when their dog is present, especially dogs with strong protective instincts.
In the most extreme cases when a dog is known to attack postal workers, the U.S. Postal Service may require residents to pick up their mail at the post office until their dogs are restrained.
Each year, 4.5 million Americans experience dog bites. While many of these encounters can be treated at home, nearly 1 in 5 dog bites are infected and require medical attention. In 2016, dog bites cost the American economy $2 million in medical expenses and wage-loss compensation.
Those injured from a dog bite may be entitled to seek compensation from the dog’s owner for their injuries. If you are a U.S. Postal Service worker or resident injured by a dog bite in Southern California, call Steinberg Injury Lawyers, 24/7 at 1-800-989-6385 for your free case evaluation.