Philly One of Worst Cities for Dog Attacks, Says U.S. Postal Service

And we're the worst city of all on the East Coast. | SVPhilon | SVPhilon

Though most of us have only seen a dog biting or otherwise attacking a letter carrier in the movies, the fact is that these things happen more frequently than you might think: Last year across the country, some 6,549 postal workers were attacked by dogs. The United States Postal Service just released its annual ranking of dog attack incidents by city, and Philadelphia lands in the top 10.

The USPS reports that Philadelphia saw 44 dog attacks on postal workers in 2015. That’s an 11 percent increase since 2014, when there were 33 such attacks.

Philadelphia is in seventh place in the USPS ranking. Houston tops the list with 77 attacks, followed by San Diego and Cleveland (both with 58) and Chicago and Dallas (57).

But we are in first place for East Coast cities. Baltimore is next with 30 attacks, then Miami with 28 and Brooklyn with 26. See the full list here.

The USPS announced the ranking in Houston on Wednesday, a few days before the kickoff of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which is, apparently, a thing. Half of all dog bite victims in the U.S. are children followed closely by postal workers. (Kidding, kidding.) The USPS advises residents not to let their kids take the mail directly from the letter carrier, since the dog-of-the-house might be inclined to attack as a protective instinct.

“Dogs are protective in nature and may view our letter carriers handing mail to their owner as a threat,” said USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo at the press conference.

The Postal Service is instituting two new policies to help curb these attacks. First, customers will be asked to alert the USPS to any canine presence when requesting a package pickup online. (Honestly, we had no clue that you could request a package pickup at your house. Good to know.)

And postal workers will be able to indicate a dog at a given address on the electronic devices they use to scan packages. If your dog is particularly mean, don’t be surprised if your packages start showing up at your neighbor’s house.

Follow @VictorFiorillo on Twitter.