The U.S. Postal Service Just Released Its National Dog Bite Rankings

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic

Not all dogs are friendly and calm, and U.S. Postal employees know this all too well. Just in the last year, incidents involving dog attacks on Postal Service employees have risen to more than 5,800 cases. In an effort to raise awareness of these issues, the organization started the USPS 2024 National Dog Bite Awareness Campaign and is now offering key guidelines on how dog owners can help foster a better environment for safe mail delivery. 

Starting on June 2nd and running through June 9th, the campaign is running under the slogan “Don’t let your dog bite the hand that serves you.” Supporters can also spread awareness on social media, with the hashtag # dogbiteawareness.

“Letter carriers are exposed to potential hazards every day, none more prevalent than a canine encounter. All it takes is one interaction for a letter carrier to possibly suffer an injury,” said Leeann Theriault, USPS Manager, Employee Safety and Health Awareness. “The U.S. Postal Service consistently encourages responsible pet ownership. The national dog bite campaign is an effort to promote dog bite awareness to keep our customers, their dogs, and letter carriers safe while delivering the mail.”

Letter carriers are aware that dogs can be unpredictable, and even those who seem docile can bite unexpectedly. This is because doggos are usually protective of their home and are suspicious of strangers, even if they are just postal employees. They are now trying to emphasize the importance of dog owners ensuring safer mail delivery. As most people know the usual time a postman comes each day, it should be easier to secure their pets and minimize the risk of dangerous situations. 

When a postal employee comes to your home, try to keep your dogs inside the house or behind a secured fence, away from the door, or on a leash. 

Besides this, owners can now use Informed Delivery, a new and free USPS service, which allows customers to digitally preview any incoming mail and packages from their computer, tablet, or smartphone. Since the service launched in 2017, it garnered more than 52 million customers. Sign-up is possible at All dog owners can now anticipate the arrival of the postman and prepare accordingly. 

Dog bites can be harmful and costly too. Information from the Insurance Information Institute reveals that the average cost per insurance claim for a dog bite is $64,555. When a postal employee gets bitten, the owner can end up responsible for lost wages, medical bills, uniform replacement costs, and the pain and suffering that the employee endured.

Of course, all postal employees are trained to observe an area where they know dogs are present. They have to remain alert and expect dangerous conditions. But also they have to respect a dog’s territory and their natural instinct. Overall, they are trained to never startle a dog, never attempt to pet or feed them, keep their eyes on the dog, and lastly to never assume a dog will not bite. They are also instructed to use a dog repellant if necessary and try to protect their vital areas.

“Even though a customer’s dog is friendly to most people, it can always have a bad day,” said letter carrier Tara Snyder. “I know, from experience, even when a dog is in the house, customers need to make sure their door is secure so their dog can’t push it open and bite the letter carrier.”

As a stark glimpse into the rate of dog bites on postal employees, a ranking was released as a part of this campaign. This lists the top 20 cities where dog bites occurred in 2023. Leading the list at number one is Los Angeles, with 65 attacks reported, followed by Houston and Chicago, with 56 and 58 attacks respectively. As for the states, the most reported attacks occurred in California, 727 in total. 

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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