LA leads nation with most dog attacks on postal carriers

Los Angeles led the nation in the number of dog attacks on postal workers in 2023, according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Postal Service, which also announced the start of its national campaign to raise awareness of the need for residents to restrain their canines.

According to the USPS, there were 65 reported attacks by dogs on mail carriers last year, well above second-place finisher Houston, where 56 attacks were reported. San Diego placed sixth on the list, with 41 reported attacks.

Sacramento was tied for 16th with 26 reported attacks, while Long Beach was tied for 20th with 19.

California by far outpaced all other states, with a total of 727 attacks reported last year, up from 675 in 2022. Texas finished a distant second with 411 reported attacks, up from 404 the year before.


"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," Leeann Theriault, USPS manager of Employee Safety and Health Awareness, said in a statement. "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."

The USPS National Dog Bite Awareness Campaign officially begins Sunday and will continue for a week, with the agency promoting ways dog owners can ensure the safety of letter carriers. The campaign's theme is "Don't let your dog bit the hand that serves you."

USPS officials urged dog owners to keep their animals inside the house or behind a fence when a letter carrier is approaching. The animals should also be kept away from the door or in another room, or on a leash.

Pet owners were also advised not to let their children take mail directly from a letter carrier, "as the dog may view the carrier as a threat to the child."

The USPS noted that mail carriers are trained on how to respond to potentially threatening situations by working to avoid startling a dog, never attempting to pet or feed a dog and never assuming that a dog will not bite.

"Even though a customer's dog is friendly to most people, it can always have a bad day," letter carrier Tara Snyder said in a statement. "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."