More than 5,300 postal workers across the U.S. were attacked by dogs while trying to deliver mail in 2022, according to the U.S. Postal Service.
The USPS revealed the number last Thursday in its national rankings of dog bites ahead of “National Dog Bite Awareness Week.”
Topping the list of states with the most dog bites was California. In 2022, there were 675 incidents of postal workers being attacked by dogs in the Golden State while on the job – up from 656 the year prior.
Texas came in second, with more than 400 incidents recorded in 2022, followed by New York and Pennsylvania, at 321 and 313, respectively.
The USPS said many of these attacks came from dogs whose owners had regularly stated, “my dog won’t bite.”
USPS Occupational Safety and Health Senior Director Linda DeCarlo said a dog who bites a mail carrier will usually have been labeled a “‘good dog’ that had not previously behaved in a menacing way.”
“In 2022, too many aggressive dogs impacted the lives of our employees while delivering the mail,” DeCarlo said. “Please help us reduce that number by being a responsible pet owner who secures their dog as we deliver mail.”
The service is advising dog owners to keep their canines indoors, behind a fence, or on a leash when letter carriers arrive at their homes.